The theory of local Chern characters used in commutative algebra originated in topology about thirty years ago, and from there was introduced in algebraic geometry. This book describes the theory in an algebraic setting, presenting recent research results and important algebraic applications, some of which come from the author's own work. It concentrates on the background in commutative algebra and homological algebra and describes the relations between these subjects, including extensive discussions of the homological conjectures and of the use of the Frobenius map. It will be particularly useful for graduate students and researchers.
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