In metric geometry, an injective metric space, or equivalently a hyperconvex metric space, is a metric space with certain properties generalizing those of the real line and of Chebyshev distance, L distances in higher-dimensional vector spaces. These properties can be defined in two seemingly different ways: hyperconvexity involves the intersection properties of closed balls in the space, while injectivity involves the isometry, isometric embeddings of the space into larger spaces. However it is a theorem of Aronszajn and Panitchpakdi (#, 1956; see e.g. ) that these two different types of definitions are equivalent.


A metric space ''X'' is said to be hyperconvex if it is convex metric, convex and its closed Ball (mathematics), balls have the binary Helly family, Helly property. That is, #any two points ''x'' and ''y'' can be connected by the isometry, isometric image of a line segment of length equal to the distance between the points (i.e. ''X'' is a path space), and #if ''F'' is any family of closed balls ::_r(p) = \ :such that each pair of balls in ''F'' meet, then there exists a point ''x'' common to all the balls in ''F''. Equivalently, if a set of points ''pi'' and radii ''ri > 0'' satisfies ''ri'' + ''rj'' ≥ ''d''(''pi'',''pj'') for each ''i'' and ''j'', then there is a point ''q'' of the metric space that is within distance ''ri'' of each ''pi''.


A retract (metric geometry), retraction of a metric space ''X'' is a function ''ƒ'' mapping ''X'' to a subspace of itself, such that # for all ''x'', ''ƒ''(''ƒ''(''x'')) = ''ƒ''(''x''); that is, ''ƒ'' is the identity function on its image (i. e. it is idempotent), and # for all ''x'' and ''y'', ''d''(''ƒ''(''x''), ''ƒ''(''y'')) ≤ ''d''(''x'', ''y''); that is, ''ƒ'' is nonexpansive mapping, nonexpansive. A ''retract'' of a space ''X'' is a subspace of ''X'' that is an image of a retraction. A metric space  ''X'' is said to be injective if, whenever ''X'' is isometry, isometric to a subspace ''Z'' of a space ''Y'', that subspace ''Z'' is a retract of ''Y''.


Examples of hyperconvex metric spaces include * The real line * Any vector space R''d'' with the Lp space, L distance * taxicab geometry, Manhattan distance (''L''1) in the plane (which is equivalent up to rotation and scaling to the ''L''), but not in higher dimensions * The tight span of a metric space * Any real tree * Aim(''X'') – see Metric space aimed at its subspace Due to the equivalence between hyperconvexity and injectivity, these spaces are all also injective.


In an injective space, the radius of the circumradius, minimum ball that contains any set ''S'' is equal to half the diameter of ''S''. This follows since the balls of radius half the diameter, centered at the points of ''S'', intersect pairwise and therefore by hyperconvexity have a common intersection; a ball of radius half the diameter centered at a point of this common intersection contains all of ''S''. Thus, injective spaces satisfy a particularly strong form of Jung's theorem. Every injective space is a complete space , and every metric map (or, equivalently, short map, nonexpansive mapping, or short map) on a bounded injective space has a Fixed-point theorem, fixed point (; ). A metric space is injective if and only if it is an injective object in the category (mathematics), category of category of metric spaces, metric spaces and metric maps. For additional properties of injective spaces see .


* Correction (1957), ''Pacific J. Math.'' 7: 1729, . * * * * *{{cite journal , last = Soardi , first = P. , title = Existence of fixed points of nonexpansive mappings in certain Banach lattices , mr = 0512051 , journal = Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society , volume = 73 , year = 1979 , pages = 25–29 , doi = 10.2307/2042874 , issue = 1 , jstor = 2042874 , doi-access = free Metric geometry