A Modular Compactification of the General Linear Group

We define a certain compactifiction of the general linear group and give a modular description for its points with values in arbitrary schemes. This is a first step in the construction of a higher rank generalization of Gieseker's degeneration of moduli spaces of vector bundles over a curve. We show that our compactification has similar properties as the ``wonderful compactification'' of algebraic groups of adjoint type as studied by de Concini and Procesi. As a byproduct we obtain a modular description of the points of the wonderful compactification of $\text{PGl}_n$.

1991 Mathematics Subject Classification: 14H60 14M15 20G

Keywords and Phrases: moduli of vector bundles on curves, modular compactification, general linear group

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