Let f:M→N be a stable map between orientable 4-manifolds, where M is closed and N is stably parallelisable. It is shown that the signature of M vanishes if and only if there exists a stable map g:M→N homotopic to f which has only fold and cusp singularities. This together with results of Ando and Èliašberg shows that, in this situation, the Thom polynomials are the only obstructions to the elimination of the singularities except for the fold singularity. Also studied are some topological properties (including those of the discriminant set) of stable maps between 4-manifolds with only Ak-type singularities.
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