# The Kontsevich Integral for Knotted Trivalent Graphs

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In Preparation

The information below is preliminary and cannot be trusted! (v)

## Abstract

We construct a (very) well-behaved invariant of knotted trivalent graphs using only the Kontsevich integral, in three steps.

## Step 1 - The Naive Kontsevich Integral

We define the "naive Kontsevich integral" $Z_1$ of a knotted trivalent graph or a slice thereof.

### The Good

• It has a factorization property.
• For the "braid-like" factors, it has invariance under horizontal deformations.
• It is morally a universal finite type invariant.

### The Bad

• It is divergent.

## Step 2 - The Renormalized Kontsevich Integral

After choosing a scale $\mu$ and using ideas from renormalization theory as practiced by quantum field theorists, we define the "renormalized Kontsevich integral" $Z_2$ of a knotted trivalent graph or a slice thereof.

### The Good

• It retains all the good properties of the naive Kontsevich integral.
• It is convergent.
• It is invariant under rigid motions of critical points and trivalent vertices.
• It has sensible behaviour under vertical connect sum, delete and unzip operations.
• It has a sensible behaviour under the changing of the scale $\mu$.

### The Bad

• It is not invariant under non-rigid motions of vertices and critical points.

## Step 3 - The Corrected Kontsevich Integral

By correcting caps and cups with factors n and u, and the two types of trivalent vertices with factors y and \lambda, we define the "corrected Kontsevich integral" $Z=Z_3$ of a knotted trivalent graph or a slice thereof. It has all the good properties we can wish for.

## Aside - The Relationship with Drinfel'd's KZ Associator

The Drinfel'd KZ associator is reproduced already by $Z_2$.