Systolic category is a numerical invariant of a closed manifold M, introduced by Mikhail Katz and Yuli Rudyak in 2006, by analogy with the Lusternik–Schnirelmann category. The invariant is defined in terms of the systoles of M and its covers, as the largest number of systoles in a product yielding a curvature-free lower bound for the total volume of M. The invariant is intimately related to the Lusternik-Schnirelmann category. Thus, in dimensions 2 and 3, the two invariants coincide. In dimension 4, the systolic category is known to be a lower bound for the Lusternik–Schnirelmann category.
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