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The singular instanton Floer homology was defined by Kronheimer and Mrowka in connection with their proof that the Khovanov homology is an unknot detector. We study this theory for knots and two-component links using equivariant gauge theory on their double branched covers. We show that the special generator in the singular instanton Floer homology of a knot is graded by the knot signature mod 4, thereby providing a purely topological way of fixing the absolute grading in the theory. Ourdoi:10.2140/agt.2017.17.2635 fatcat:yugfeuxjinb67pbgiooduh4dta