We use exact saturation to study the complexity of unstable theories, showing that a variant of this notion called pseudo-elementary class (PC)-exact saturation meaningfully reflects combinatorial dividing lines. We study PC-exact saturation for stable and simple theories. Among other results, we show that PC-exact saturation characterizes the stability cardinals of size at least continuum of a countable stable theory and, additionally, that simple unstable theories have PC-exact saturation at singular cardinals satisfying mild set-theoretic hypotheses. This had previously been open even for the random graph. We characterize supersimplicity of countable theories in terms of having PC-exact saturation at singular cardinals of countable cofinality. We also consider the local analog of PC-exact saturation, showing that local PC-exact saturation for singular cardinals of countable cofinality characterizes supershort theories.
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- Simple theories
- classification theory
- exact saturation
- stable theories