The following outline is provided as an overview of and guide to category theory, the area of study in mathematics that examines in an abstract way the properties of particular mathematical concepts, by formalising them as collections of objects and arrows (also called morphisms, although this term also has a specific, non category-theoretical sense), where these collections satisfy certain basic conditions. Many significant areas of mathematics can be formalised as categories, and the use of category theory allows many intricate and subtle mathematical results in these fields to be stated, and proved, in a much simpler way than without the use of categories.
Category theory formalizes mathematical structure and its concepts in terms of a labeled directed graph called a category, whose nodes are called objects, and whose labelled directed edges are called arrows. A category has two basic properties: the ability to compose the arrows associatively, and the existence of an identity arrow for each object. The language of category theory has been used to formalize concepts of other high-level abstractions such as sets, rings, and groups. Informally, category theory is a general theory of functions.
In mathematics, the inverse limit is a construction that allows one to "glue together" several related objects, the precise manner of the gluing process being specified by morphisms between the objects. Inverse limits can be defined in any category, and they are a special case of the concept of a limit in category theory.
In mathematics, an abelian category is a category in which morphisms and objects can be added and in which kernels and cokernels exist and have desirable properties. The motivating prototyical example of an abelian category is the category of abelian groups, Ab. The theory originated in an effort to unify several cohomology theories by Alexander Grothendieck and independently in the slightly earlier work of David Buchsbaum. Abelian categories are very stable categories; for example they are regular and they satisfy the snake lemma. The class of abelian categories is closed under several categorical constructions, for example, the category of chain complexes of an abelian category, or the category of functors from a small category to an abelian category are abelian as well. These stability properties make them inevitable in homological algebra and beyond; the theory has major applications in algebraic geometry, cohomology and pure category theory. Abelian categories are named after Niels Henrik Abel.
In mathematics, specifically in category theory, an additive category is a preadditive category C admitting all finitary biproducts.
In mathematics, specifically in category theory, a pre-abelian category is an additive category that has all kernels and cokernels.
In mathematics, especially homological algebra and other applications of abelian category theory, the five lemma is an important and widely used lemma about commutative diagrams. The five lemma is not only valid for abelian categories but also works in the category of groups, for example.
Homological algebra is the branch of mathematics that studies homology in a general algebraic setting. It is a relatively young discipline, whose origins can be traced to investigations in combinatorial topology and abstract algebra at the end of the 19th century, chiefly by Henri Poincaré and David Hilbert.
In category theory, a branch of mathematics, an enriched category generalizes the idea of a category by replacing hom-sets with objects from a general monoidal category. It is motivated by the observation that, in many practical applications, the hom-set often has additional structure that should be respected, e.g., that of being a vector space of morphisms, or a topological space of morphisms. In an enriched category, the set of morphisms associated with every pair of objects is replaced by an object in some fixed monoidal category of "hom-objects". In order to emulate the (associative) composition of morphisms in an ordinary category, the hom-category must have a means of composing hom-objects in an associative manner: that is, there must be a binary operation on objects giving us at least the structure of a monoidal category, though in some contexts the operation may also need to be commutative and perhaps also to have a right adjoint.
In mathematics, a sheaf is a tool for systematically tracking locally defined data attached to the open sets of a topological space. The data can be restricted to smaller open sets, and the data assigned to an open set is equivalent to all collections of compatible data assigned to collections of smaller open sets covering the original one. For example, such data can consist of the rings of continuous or smooth real-valued functions defined on each open set. Sheaves are by design quite general and abstract objects, and their correct definition is rather technical. They are variously defined, for example, as sheaves of sets or sheaves of rings, depending on the type of data assigned to open sets.
In mathematics, a monoidal category is a category equipped with a bifunctor
In mathematics, the category Ab has the abelian groups as objects and group homomorphisms as morphisms. This is the prototype of an abelian category: indeed, every small abelian category can be embedded in Ab.
This is a glossary of properties and concepts in category theory in mathematics.
In mathematics, specifically in category theory, hom-sets, i.e. sets of morphisms between objects, give rise to important functors to the category of sets. These functors are called hom-functors and have numerous applications in category theory and other branches of mathematics.
In category theory, a branch of mathematics, a monoid in a monoidal category is an object M together with two morphisms
In mathematics, higher category theory is the part of category theory at a higher order, which means that some equalities are replaced by explicit arrows in order to be able to explicitly study the structure behind those equalities. Higher category theory is often applied in algebraic topology, where one studies algebraic invariants of spaces, such as their fundamental weak ∞-groupoid.
In category theory, a branch of mathematics, dagger compact categories first appeared in 1989 in the work of Sergio Doplicher and John E. Roberts on the reconstruction of compact topological groups from their category of finite-dimensional continuous unitary representations. They also appeared in the work of John Baez and James Dolan as an instance of semistrict k-tuply monoidal n-categories, which describe general topological quantum field theories, for n = 1 and k = 3. They are a fundamental structure in Samson Abramsky and Bob Coecke's categorical quantum mechanics.
In category theory, a regular category is a category with finite limits and coequalizers of a pair of morphisms called kernel pairs, satisfying certain exactness conditions. In that way, regular categories recapture many properties of abelian categories, like the existence of images, without requiring additivity. At the same time, regular categories provide a foundation for the study of a fragment of first-order logic, known as regular logic.
In mathematics, a topos is a category that behaves like the category of sheaves of sets on a topological space. Topoi behave much like the category of sets and possess a notion of localization; they are a direct generalization of point-set topology. The Grothendieck topoi find applications in algebraic geometry; the more general elementary topoi are used in logic.
In mathematics, a Grothendieck category is a certain kind of abelian category, introduced in Alexander Grothendieck's Tôhoku paper of 1957 in order to develop the machinery of homological algebra for modules and for sheaves in a unified manner. The theory of these categories was further developed in Pierre Gabriel's seminal thesis in 1962.