A homotopy coherent cellular nerve for bicategories

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The subject of this paper is a nerve construction for bicategories introduced by Leinster, which defines a fully faithful functor from the category of bicategories and normal pseudofunctors to the category of presheaves over Joyal's category Θ2. We prove that the nerve of a bicategory is a 2-quasi-category (a model for (∞,2)-categories due to Ara), and moreover that the nerve functor restricts to the right part of a Quillen equivalence between Lack's model structure for bicategories and a Bousfield localisation of Ara's model structure for 2-quasi-categories. We deduce that Lack's model structure for bicategories is Quillen equivalent to Rezk's model structure for (2,2)-Θ-spaces on the category of simplicial presheaves over Θ2.

To this end, we construct the homotopy bicategory of a 2-quasi-category, and prove that a morphism of 2-quasi-categories is an equivalence if and only if it is essentially surjective on objects and fully faithful. We also prove a Quillen equivalence between Ara's model structure for 2-quasi-categories and the Hirschowitz–Simpson–Pellissier model structure for quasi-category-enriched Segal categories, from which we deduce a few more results about 2-quasi-categories, including a conjecture of Ara concerning weak equivalences of 2-categories.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107138
Pages (from-to)1-67
Number of pages67
JournalAdvances in Mathematics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2020


  • 2-category
  • Bicategory
  • 2-quasi-category
  • (∞,2)-category
  • Nerve
  • Model category

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