nLab locally regular category

Locally regular categories

Locally regular categories


A locally regular category is a relative of a regular category in which the condition of finite limits is weakened to finite connected limits. It is so named because every slice category of a locally regular category is a regular category, although the converse is not quite true.


A category CC is locally regular if

  1. It has finite connected limits — equivalently, it has pullbacks and equalizers;

  2. It has (extremal epi, mono) factorizations which are stable under pullback; and

  3. Every span factors as an extremal epi followed by a jointly-monic span.



  • A locally regular category is regular if and only if it has a terminal object.

  • The factorization axiom for spans implies, by induction, a similar factorization property for nonempty finite cosinks. However, similar factorizations for empty cosinks (i.e. “supports”) do not necessarily exist.

  • Every locally regular category gives rise to a tabular allegory of binary relations (where we define a “binary relation” to mean a jointly-monic span). For composition of relations, we require pullbacks and stable factorizations of spans. For intersection of binary relations, we require equalizers.

  • Conversely, every tabular allegory has a locally regular category of maps (left adjoints). So locally regular categories are essentially the same as tabular allegories.


Last revised on March 8, 2024 at 05:07:58. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.