# Partial Orders

Partial ordering relation is a binary relation that is reflexive, antisymmetric, and transitive, that is, the following properties hold for all :

• • • If is a set and a binary relation on , we call the pair a partial order.

Given a partial ordering relation , the corresponding strict ordering relation is defined by and can be viewed as a shorthand for this conjunction.

We can view partial order as a first-order interpretation of language where .

## Example Partial Orders

Orders on integers, rationals, reals are all special cases of partial orders called linear orders.

Given a set , let be any set of subsets of , that is . Then is a partial order.

Example: Let and let . Then is a partial order. We can draw it as a Hasse diagram.

## Hasse diagram

Hasse diagram presents the relation as a directed graph in a plane, such that

• the direction of edge is given by which nodes is drawn above
• transitive and reflexive edges are not represented (they can be derived)

## Extreme Elements in Partial Orders

Given a partial order and a set , we call an element • upper bound of if for all we have • lower bound of if for all we have • minimal element of if and there is no element such that • maximal element of if and there is no element such that • greatest element of if and for all we have • least element of if and for all we have • least upper bound (lub, supremum, join, ) of if is the least element in the set of all upper bounds of • greatest lower bound (glb, infimum, meet, ) of if is the greatest element in the set of all lower bounds of Taking we obtain minimal, maximal, greatest, least elements for the entire partial order.

Duality minimal/maximal, least/greatest, supremum/infimum

Notes

• minimal element need not exist: interval of rationals
• there may be multiple minimal elements: • if minimal element exists, it need not be least: above example
• there are no two distinct least elements for the same set
• least element is always glb and minimal
• if glb belongs to the set, then it is always least and minimal
• for relation on sets, is intersection, is union (not all families of sets are closed under , )

## Monotonic functions

Given two partial orders and , we call a function monotonic iff for all , 