Definitions
Transfors between 2-categories
Morphisms in 2-categories
Structures in 2-categories
Limits in 2-categories
Structures on 2-categories
The notion of comma object or comma square is a generalization of the notion of pullback or pullback square from category theory to 2-category theory: it is a special kind of 2-limit.
Where a pullback involves a commuting square, for a comma object this square is filled by a 2-morphism.
(comma object)
The comma object of a pair of 1-morphisms $f \colon A\to C$ and $g \colon B\to C$ in a 2-category is an object $(f/g)$ equipped with projections $p \colon (f/g)\to A$ and $q \colon (f/g)\to B$ and a 2-morphism of this form:
(terminology)
Comma objects are also sometimes called lax pullbacks, but this term more properly refers to the lax limit of a cospan, which is a slightly different notion.
(in components) More concretely:
Part of Def. is the statement that for any object $D$, 1-morphisms $p' \colon D\to A$, $q' \colon D\to B$ and 2-morphisms $\sigma \colon f p'\Rightarrow g q'$ there is a 1-morphism $u \colon D\to(f/g)$ and isomorphisms $p u\cong p'$, $q u\cong q'$ such that modulo these isomorphisms, we have $\sigma=\alpha u$.
In addition there is the “2-dimensional universality” saying that given $u \colon D\to (f/g)$ and $v \colon D\to (f/g)$ and 2-morphisms $\mu \colon p u \to p v$ and $\nu \colon q u \to q v$ such that $\alpha v. f \mu = g\nu . \alpha u$, there exists a unique 2-morphism $\beta \colon u\to v$ such that $p\beta = \mu$ and $q \beta = \nu$.
Notice that the 2-dimensional property implies that in the 1-dimensional property, the 1-morphism $u$ is unique up to unique isomorphism. A square containing a 2-cell with this property is sometimes called a comma square.
By an iso-comma object one means the analogous notion as in Def. , now subject to the requirement that the 2-morphism is a 2-isomorphism and subject to the relevant universal property.
For more on this case see at 2-pullback.
The notion of a strict comma object is analogous to that of Def. but has the universal property of a strict 2-limit. This means that given $p'$, $q'$, and $\sigma$ as above, there exists a unique $u:D\to (f/g)$ such that $p u = p'$, $q u = q'$, and $\sigma u = \alpha$. Note that any strict comma object is a comma object, but the converse is not in general true.
When combining this with the constraint in Rem. , one also has the notion of strict iso-comma objects
The comma object $f/g$ can be constructed by means of pullbacks and cotensors:
where $C^{\mathbf{2}}$ is the cotensor of $C$ with the arrow category $\mathbf{2} = \bullet \to \bullet$.
Suppose given a diagram
where the right-hand square is a comma square. Then the following are equivalent:
The proof is analogous to that at pullback.
In Cat, a comma category is a comma object (in fact a strict one, as normally defined); these give their name to the general notion.
In the 2-category of virtual double categories, a comma object is a comma double category. If the virtual double categories are (pseudo) double categories and the domain functor $f$ in $f/g$ is strong (while $g$ might be only lax), then the comma object is also a pseudo double category and the comma object lives in the 2-category of pseudo double categories and lax functors.
Notions of pullback:
pullback, fiber product (limit over a cospan)
lax pullback, comma object (lax limit over a cospan)
(∞,1)-pullback, homotopy pullback, ((∞,1)-limit over a cospan)
Last revised on December 22, 2022 at 12:33:18. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.