# nLab two-variable adjunction

### Context

#### 2-Category theory

2-category theory

# Two-variable and $n$-variable adjunctions

## Idea

An adjunction of two variables is a straightforward generalization of both:

by extracting the central pattern.

## Definition

Let $C$, $D$ and $E$ be categories. An adjunction of two variables or two-variable adjunction

$(\otimes, hom_l, hom_r) : C \times D \to E$

consists of bifunctors

\begin{aligned} \otimes & : C \times D \to E \\ hom_l &: C^{op} \times E \to D \\ hom_r &: D^{op} \times E \to C \end{aligned}

together with natural isomorphisms

$Hom_E(c \otimes d, e) \simeq Hom_C(c, hom_l(d,e)) \simeq Hom_D(d, hom_r(c,e)) \,.$

## Cyclicity

If $(\otimes, hom_l, hom_r) : C \times D \to E$ is a two-variable adjunction, then so are

$(hom_l^{op}, \otimes^{op}, hom_r) : E^{op} \times C \to D^{op}$

and

$(hom_r^{op}, hom_l, \otimes^{op}) : D\times E^{op} \to C^{op}.$

giving an action of the cyclic group of order 3. This can be made to look more symmetrical by regarding the original two-variable adjunction as a “two-variable left adjunction” $C\times D \to E^{op}$; see Cheng-Gurski-Riehl.

## Adjunctions of $n$ variables

There is a straightforward generalization to an adjunction of $n$ variables, which involves $n+1$ categories and $n+1$ functors. Adjunctions of $n$ variables assemble into a 2-multicategory. They also have a corresponding notion of mates; see Cheng-Gurski-Riehl.

## References

Revised on September 19, 2013 11:51:37 by Anonymous Coward (67.186.135.38)