Let A ⊂ B be a homogeneous inclusion of standard graded algebras with A0 = B0. To relate properties of A and B we intermediate with another algebra, the associated graded ring G = grA1B(B). We give criteria as to when the extension A ⊂ B is integral or birational in terms of the codimension of certain modules associated to G. We also introduce a series of multiplicities associated to the extension A ⊂ B. There are applications to the extension of two Rees algebras of modules and to estimating the (ordinary) multiplicity of A in terms of that of B and of related rings. Many earlier results by several authors are recovered quickly.
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