# Re: curiousity of sets of no relations?

From: Bob Badour <bbadour_at_pei.sympatico.ca>

Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2006 18:35:15 GMT

Message-ID: <DhEig.20323$A26.465381_at_ursa-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca>

> In other words, I'm guessing, "to make it all work/to guarantee the ops

Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2006 18:35:15 GMT

Message-ID: <DhEig.20323$A26.465381_at_ursa-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca>

paul c wrote:

>> paul c wrote: >> >>> ... >>> That seems a practical motivation. In terms of relations and/or set >>> theory/predicate calculus can anybody give a more theoretical one? >> >> He simply defined them as the identity elements for the specific >> operations just as one defines any aggregate/fold of zero elements >> using the identity element for the base operation.

*>*> In other words, I'm guessing, "to make it all work/to guarantee the ops

*> always return relations", i.e., the motivation is practical only,**> analogous to notions such as the "empty product" (such as in**> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empty_product)? If so, I think I'm content**> with that, e.g., thinking of the empty set as just a gizmo to enable**> various operations we desire.*Exactly so. And exactly the same way Graham, Knuth and Patashnik define aggregation in _Concrete Mathematics_. We define the iteration over zero items as the identity element of the base operation. Sum() = 0, Product() = 1, Min() = max_value_of_type, Max() = min_value_of_type, etc.

Mathematicians define aggregations that way on utilitarian grounds. Received on Sat Jun 10 2006 - 20:35:15 CEST