Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 year in review

Within the year 2014 I maintained my focus on order theory and then I began to examine set systems which are equivalent to suborders of a boolean algebra. Being a suborder each set system is partially ordered and each partial order can be embedded into a boolean algebra often in a variety of ways. In particular, given a partial order we can convert that partial order into the set system by taking the set of all sets of elements of principal ideals of that partial order. We can also convert that partial order into a distributive lattice by taking the set of lower sets though that does not preserve order. In this way the theory of set systems subsumes the theory of partial orders. Everything we can say about partial orders can also be expressed in terms of set systems. As a result of this fact, set systems became a primary concern of mine in the past year.

Through my exploration of set systems as suborders of boolean algebras I later came to consider suborders of other distributive lattices. In particular, we can consider suborders of distributive lattices that are defined by multiset inclusion. In this way we can examine the idea of multiset systems in addition to set systems. An interesting facet of the theory of multiset systems is that we can convert any ordered collection into a multiset system regardless of cardinality just as we can convert any ordered collection into a set system using the kuratowski pair. After considering the theory of suborders of distributive lattices like these we can generalize and then consider the theory of suborders of a partial order in general.

As the notion of set systems as suborders of a boolean algebra has been explored my ontology has continued to expand as these notions have been explored. As a result an ontology of set systems including a wide variety of classes of set systems has been produced including classes of set systems which are defined entirely by their order characteristics. In this way the ontology has expanded to deal with sets as well as sets whose members are all sets. These are distinguished from objects which are not ontologically classified as sets and sets which contain elements that are not classified as sets. As an ontology deals with sets and classes itself it is sensible that one of the most basic things to be classified in an ontology are such sets and classes. This is the approach that I am now taking to ontology engineering.