In (Bull. Lond. Math. Soc. 33:385–390, 2001) Bican, Bashir and Enochs finally solved a long standing conjecture in module theory that all modules over a unitary ring have a flat cover. The only substantial work on covers of acts over monoids seems to be that of Isbell (Semigroup Forum 2:95–118, 1971), Fountain (Proc. Edinb. Math. Soc. (2) 20:87–93, 1976) and Kilp (Semigroup Forum 53:225–229, 1996) who only consider projective covers. To our knowledge the situation for flat covers of acts has not been addressed and this paper is an attempt to initiate such a study. We consider almost exclusively covers of cyclic acts and restrict our attention to strongly flat and condition (P) covers. We give a necessary and sufficient condition for the existence of such covers and for a monoid to have the property that all its cyclic right acts have a strongly flat cover (resp. (P)-cover). We give numerous classes of monoids that satisfy these conditions and we also show that there are monoids that do not satisfy this condition in the strongly flat case. We give a new necessary and sufficient condition for a cyclic act to have a projective cover and provide a new proof of one of Isbell’s classic results concerning projective covers. We show also that condition (P) covers are not unique, unlike the situation for projective covers
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.