jointly epimorphic family

Given an object $X$ in some category, a family $(f_i\colon U_i \to X)_i$ of morphisms to $X$ is an **epic sink**, or a **jointly epic family** if, given any two morphisms $g, h\colon X \to Y$ such that $g \circ f_i= h\circ f_i$ for all $i$, it follows that $g = h$.

Dually, a family $(f_i\colon X \to U_i)_i$ of morphisms from $X$ is a **monic source**, or a **jointly monic family** if, given any two morphisms $g, h\colon Y \to X$ such that $f_i \circ g = f_i \circ h$ for all $i$, it follows that $g = h$.

Sometimes we are interested only in small families of morphisms, but if so then it is best to say so explicitly.

A single morphism $U \to X$ is an epimorphism if and only it forms an epic sink by itself; conversely, a sink $(f_i\colon U_i \to X)_i$ is epic iff the induced map $\coprod_i U_i \to X$ is an epimorphism, assuming that the coproduct $\coprod_i U_i$ exists. (Note, though, that for a large family of morphisms, this coproduct might not exist even if the category has all small coproducts.) Dual results hold for monomorphisms and products.

Finally, the empty family of morphisms with domain $X$ is a monic source iff $X$ is a subterminal object (and dually).

Revised on November 19, 2012 01:10:32
by Stephan Alexander Spahn
(79.219.109.94)