Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Multiset systems

One of the critical problems of set theory is how to represent sequences as sets. Well Kuratowski solved the problem for sequences of size two through the set theoretic definition of the ordered pair there is no obvious solution to the problem of representing sequences of arbitrary size as set systems because sequences may contain repeated elements. I have thought about this problem so much in terms of set systems that I did not consider the possibility of using a multiset system instead.

In order to represent any sequence all we need to do is use a multiset system containing the multiset of elements up to a point in the sequence for each point in the sequence. This solution is so simple I am surprised I did not hear about this before. It is probably because multisets are far too often pushed aside for sets but no more. From now on I am going to make full use of multisets when I think about mathematics.

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