nLab
ordered group

Ordered groups

Idea

An ordered group is both a poset and a group in a compatible way. The concept applies directly to other constructs with group structure, such as ordered abelian groups, ordered vector spaces, etc. However, for ordered ring?s, ordered fields, and so on, additional compatibility conditions are required.

Definition

Let GG be a group (written additively but not necessarily commutative), and let \leq be a partial order on the underlying set of GG. Then (G,)(G,\leq) is an ordered group if this compatibility condition (translation invariance) holds:

  • If aba \leq b, then a+cb+ca + c \leq b + c and c+ac+bc + a \leq c + b.

More slickly, an ordered group is (up to equivalence) a thin groupal category? (a groupal (0,1)(0,1)-category).

If GG is an abelian group, then we have an ordered abelian group; in this case, only one direction of translation invariance needs to be checked.

It works just as well to talk of partially ordered monoids, using the same condition of translation invariance. Equivalently, an ordered monoid is a thin monoidal category, or a monoidal (0,1)(0,1)-category.

Properties

The order \leq is determined entirely by the group GG and the positive cone G +G^+:

G +{x:G|0x}. G^+ \coloneqq \{x\colon G \;|\; 0 \leq x\} .

It's possible to define an ordered group in terms of the positive cone (by specifying precisely the conditions that the positive cone must satisfy); see positive cone for this.

However, this characterisation probably can't be made to work for ordered monoids (although I haven't checked for certain).

Examples

The underlying additive group of any ordered field is an ordered group.

In particular, the underlying additive group of the field \mathbb{R} of real numbers is an ordered group.

Although the field \mathbb{C} of complex numbers is not an ordered field (since it is not linearly ordered), its underlying additive group is still an ordered group (where aba \leq b means that bab - a is a nonnegative real number).

Given a topological vector space VV, we often consider its dual vector space V *V^*, consisting of the continuous linear maps from VV to its base field, which is usually either \mathbb{R} or \mathbb{C}. This inherits a partial order from the target field, and then the underlying additive group is an ordered group; in fact, we have an ordered algebra?. (This is the main sort of example that I know of, but that probably just reflects my own limited knowledge.)

More generally, if VV is any set, GG is any ordered group, and FF is any collection of functions from VV to GG, as long as FF is a subgroup of the group of all functions from VV to GG, then FF is an ordered group.

All of these examples are commutative, but Wikipedia defines the concept for noncommutative groups as well, so presumably somebody has done something with those too.

References

Revised on September 16, 2012 19:42:55 by Toby Bartels (98.23.131.250)