A curvilinear d-web W = (F1 , . . . , Fd) is a configuration of d curvilinear foliations Fi on a surface. When d = 3, Bott connections of the normal bundles of Fi extend naturally to equal affine connection, which is called Chern connection. For 3 < d, this is the case if and only if the modulus of tangents to the leaves of Fi at a point is constant. A d-web is associative if the modulus is constant and weakly associative if Chern connections of all 3-subwebs have equal curvature form. We give a geometric interpretation of the curvature form in terms of fake billiard in §2, and prove that a weakly associative d-web is associative if Chern connections of triples of the members are non flat, and then the foliations are defined by members of a pencil (projective linear family of dim 1) of 1-forms. This result completes the classification of weakly associative 4-webs initiated by Poincaré, Mayrhofer and Reidemeister for the flat case. In §4, we generalize the result for n + 2-webs of n-spaces.
Cite this article
I. Nakai, Curvature of curvilinear 4-webs and pencils of one forms: Variation on a theorem of Poincaré, Mayrhofer and Reidemeister. Comment. Math. Helv. 73 (1998), no. 2, pp. 177–205DOI 10.1007/S000140050051