Borovik proposed an axiomatic treatment of Morley rank in groups, later modified by Poizat, who showed that in the context of groups the resulting notion of rank provides a characterization of groups of finite Morley rank . (This result makes use of ideas of Lascar, which it encapsulates in a neat way.) These axioms form the basis of the algebraic treatment of groups of finite Morley rank undertaken in .
There are, however, ranked structures, i.e., structures on which a Borovik-Poizat rank function is defined, which are not ℵ0-stable [1, p. 376]. In [2, p. 9] Poizat raised the issue of the relationship between this notion of rank and stability theory in the following terms: “… un groupe de Borovik est une structure stable, alors qu'un univers rangé n'a aucune raison de l'être …” (emphasis added). Nonetheless, we will prove the following:
Theorem 1.1. A ranked structure is superstable.
An example of a non-ℵ0-stable structure with Borovik-Poizat rank 2 is given in [1, p. 376]. Furthermore, it appears that this example can be modified in a straightforward way to give ℵ0-stable structures of Borovik-Poizat rank 2 in which the Morley rank is any countable ordinal (which would refute a claim of [1, p. 373, proof of C.4]). We have not checked the details. This does not leave much room for strenghthenings of our theorem. On the other hand, the proof of Theorem 1.1 does give a finite bound for the heights of certain trees of definable sets related to unsuperstability, as we will see in Section 5.