# nLab comparison

## In higher category theory

A comparison on a set $A$ is a (binary) relation $\sim$ on $A$ such that in every pair of related elements, any other element is related to one of the original elements in the same order as the original pair:

$\forall (x, y, z: A),\; x \sim z \;\Rightarrow\; x \sim y \;\vee\; y \sim z$

which generalises from $3$ to any (finite, positive) number of elements. To include the case where $n = 1$, we must explicitly state that the relation is irreflexive.

Comparisons are most often studied in constructive mathematics. In particular, the relation $\lt$ on the (located Dedekind) real numbers is an irreflexive comparison, even though its negation $\geq$ is not constructively total. (Indeed, $\lt$ is a linear order, even though $\geq$ is not constructively a total order.)

A comparison is a cartesian monoidal semicategory enriched on the co-Heyting algebra $TV^\op$, where $TV$ is the Heyting algebra of truth values.

Last revised on May 27, 2021 at 13:48:32. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.