In mathematics, the homotopy category is a category built from the category of topological spaces which in a sense identifies two spaces that have the same shape. The phrase is in fact used for two different (but related) categories, as discussed below.
More generally, instead of starting with the category of topological spaces, one may start with any model category and define its associated homotopy category, with a construction introduced by Quillen in 1967. In this way, homotopy theory can be applied to many other categories in geometry and algebra.
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