Graded algebra

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In mathematics, in particular abstract algebra, a graded algebra is an algebra over a field (or, more generally over a commutative ring) with an extra layer of structure, known as a gradation (or grading).

The grading is a direct sum decomposition of the algebra into modules indexed by a monoid, such that the product of two elements belonging to two summands of the grading results in an element in the summand indexed by the sum of the indices. The monoid is often the set of the non-negative integers using ordinary addition, but it can be any monoid. For example a finite group grades its own group algebra.

The term graded ring is sometimes used for the analogous grading of a ring. A graded ring could also be viewed as a graded Z-algebra.

The notion of a graded module is the generalization of graded vector spaces.

Template:Algebraic structures

Graded ring

A graded ring A is a ring that has a direct sum decomposition into (abelian) additive groups

such that the ring multiplication satisfies

and so

Elements of are known as homogeneous elements of degree n. An ideal or other subset A is homogeneous if for every element a, the homogeneous parts of a are also contained in

If I is a homogeneous ideal in A, then is also a graded ring, and has decomposition

Any (non-graded) ring A can be given a gradation by letting A0 = A, and Ai = 0 for i > 0. This is called the trivial gradation on A.

Graded module

The corresponding idea in module theory is that of a graded module, namely a left module M over a graded ring A such that also


Graded modules may be considered over non-graded rings by giving the trivial gradation to the ring. This allows to consider a sequence of modules as a single graded module. This is used in homological algebra to extend to chain complexes some module constructions like direct sum or tensor product.

Graded algebra

An algebra A over a ring R is a graded algebra if it is graded as a ring.

In the usual case where the ring R is not graded (in particular if R is a field), it is given the trivial grading (every element of "R" is of grade 0). Thus RA0 and the Ai are R modules.

In the case where the ring R is also a graded ring, then one requires that


Examples of graded algebras are common in mathematics:

Graded algebras are much used in commutative algebra and algebraic geometry, homological algebra and algebraic topology. One example is the close relationship between homogeneous polynomials and projective varieties.

G-graded rings and algebras

Above definitions have been generalized to gradings ring using any monoid G as an index set. A G-graded ring A is a ring with a direct sum decomposition

such that

The notion of "graded ring" now becomes the same thing as a N-graded ring, where N is the monoid of non-negative integers under addition. The definitions for graded modules and algebras can also be extended this way replacing the indexing set N with any monoid G.


  • If we do not require that the ring have an identity element, semigroups may replace monoids.


  • A group naturally grades the corresponding group ring; similarly, monoid rings are graded by the corresponding monoid.
  • A superalgebra is another term for a Z2-graded algebra. Examples include Clifford algebras. Here the homogeneous elements are either of degree 0 (even) or 1 (odd).


Some graded rings (or algebras) are endowed with an anticommutative structure. This notion requires the use of a semiring to supply the gradation rather than a monoid. Specifically, a signed semiring consists of a pair (Γ, ε) where Γ is a semiring and ε : Γ → Z/2Z is a homomorphism of additive monoids. An anticommutative Γ-graded ring is a ring A graded with respect to the additive structure on Γ such that:

xy=(-1)ε (deg x) ε (deg y)yx, for all homogeneous elements x and y.


  • An exterior algebra is an example of an anticommutative algebra, graded with respect to the structure (Z≥ 0, ε) where ε is the homomorphism given by ε(even) = 0, ε(odd) = 1.
  • A supercommutative algebra (sometimes called a skew-commutative associative ring) is the same thing as an anticommutative (Z/2Z, ε) -graded algebra, where ε is the identity endomorphism for the additive structure.

See also


  • Template:Lang Algebra.
  • Bourbaki, N. (1974) Algebra I (Chapters 1-3), ISBN 978-3-540-64243-5, Chapter 3, Section 3.
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