nLab arity space

Arity spaces

Arity spaces


An arity space is a common generalization of coherence spaces, finiteness spaces, and totality spaces to an arbitrary set of “arities”.

This is an original and tentative definition. In particular, it’s not clear whether the allowed sets of arities should be restricted in some way. Should they be an arity class? The only previously studied examples appear to be the cases {0,1}\{0,1\} (coherence spaces), {0,1,2,3,}\{0,1,2,3,\dots\} (finiteness spaces), and {1}\{1\} (totality spaces), which are all arity classes.


Let κ\kappa be a set of cardinal numbers. Given two subsets u,vXu,v\subseteq X of the same set XX, we write uvu\perp v if |uv|κ|u\cap v|\in \kappa. This relation defines a Galois connection in the usual way: for 𝒰P(X)\mathcal{U}\subseteq P(X) we have 𝒰 ={vu𝒰.uv}\mathcal{U}^\perp = \{ v \mid \forall u\in \mathcal{U}. u\perp v \}. Since \perp is symmetric, () (-)^\perp is self-adjoint on the right.

We define a κ\kappa-arity space to be a set XX together with a 𝒰P(X)\mathcal{U}\subseteq P(X) that is a fixed point of this Galois connection, 𝒰=𝒰 \mathcal{U} = \mathcal{U}^{\perp\perp}. We call the sets in 𝒰\mathcal{U} κ\kappa-ary and the sets in 𝒰 \mathcal{U}^{\perp} co-κ\kappa-ary.

A morphism or relation between κ\kappa-arity spaces is a relation R:XYR: X ⇸ Y such that

  1. If uXu\subseteq X is κ\kappa-ary, then R[u]={yxu,R(x,y)}R[u] = \{ y \mid \exists x\in u, R(x,y) \} is κ\kappa-ary.
  2. If vYv\subseteq Y is co-κ\kappa-ary, then R 1[v]={xyv,R(x,y)}R^{-1}[v] = \{ x \mid \exists y\in v, R(x,y) \} is co-κ\kappa-ary.


  • If κ={0,1}\kappa=\{0,1\}, then a κ\kappa-arity space is precisely a coherence space.

  • If κ=ω={0,1,2,3,}\kappa = \omega = \{0,1,2,3,\dots\}, then a κ\kappa-arity space is precisely a finiteness space.

  • If κ={1}\kappa=\{1\}, then a κ\kappa-arity space is (almost?) precisely a totality space.


Conjecture: For any κ\kappa, the category of κ\kappa-arity spaces is star-autonomous.

This might follow from constructing it using double gluing and orthogonality.

Last revised on July 29, 2019 at 06:29:08. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.