Canonical forking in AECs
Boney and Grossberg [BG] proved that every nice AEC has an independence relation. We prove that this relation is unique: In any given AEC, there can exist at most one independence relation that satisfies existence, extension, uniqueness and local character. While doing this, we study more generally properties of independence relations for AECs and also prove a canonicity result for Shelah’s good frames. The usual tools of first-order logic (like the finite equivalence relation theorem or the type amalgamation theorem in simple theories) are not available in this context. In addition to the loss of the compactness theorem, we have the added difficulty of not being able to assume that types are sets of formulas. We work axiomatically and develop new tools to understand this general framework.