Wikipedia tells us:
In physical cosmology, cosmic inflation, cosmological inflation, or just inflation is the exponential expansion of space in the early universe. The inflationary epoch lasted from 10-36 seconds after the Big Bang to sometime between 10-33 and 10-32 seconds. Following the inflationary period, the Universe continues to expand, but at a less accelerated rate.
I've no idea about astronomy, I just wondered whether somebody ever published a theory about cosmological deflation, which would make the universe shrink in a fraction of a second.
In a SFI novel you could travel by locally causing a deflation of space in the direction of your spaceship; the unshrunken space of a lightyear would (only locally in front of the ship) measure 1000 km for the fraction of the second. Or maybe a technically very advanced civilization could keep its solar system inflated by the time of a deflation of the whole universe and thus survive, which leads to the interesting question, whether this solar system could reenter the space of the next universe after its new cosmolocical inflation and if yes, does somebody look out for stellar systems at places in space where you wouldn't expect them?
However: cosmological deflation?