Take the 2-minute tour ×
MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In universal algebra, a variety is axiomatized by identities $t \approx s$ between terms $t$ and $s$. More general are quasi-varieties that are axiomatized by quasi-identities of the form $$u_1 \approx v_1,\dots,u_n \approx v_n \Rightarrow t \approx s,$$ which is intended to mean $$(\forall \bar{x})[u_1 = v_1 \land \cdots \land u_n = v_n \to t = s].$$ These are universal Horn theories which are therefore exceptionally well behaved and worthy of a special name.

A natural next step in the hierarchy are theories axiomatized by gadgets of the form $$u_1 \approx v_1,\dots,u_n \approx v_n \Rightarrow t_1 \approx s_1,\dots,t_m \approx s_m,$$ which are intended to mean $$(\forall \bar{x})[u_1 = v_1 \land \cdots \land u_n = v_n \to t_1 = s_1 \lor \cdots \lor t_m = s_m].$$ (When $m = 0$ the right hand side is understood to be $\bot$.) Unfortunately, such theories are not as well behaved as the above so it is not clear they are worthy of a special name. However, if there is one name that has been in use for these theories, I would like to know!

share|improve this question
2  
Aren't these just the universal theories in algebraic languages (meaning languages with no relation symbols except equality)? The point is that, given a universal prenex sentence in such a language, we can put its matrix into conjunctive normal form and distribute the universal quantifiers over the conjunctions. What remains, universally quanntified disjunctions of equations and negated equations, are just the formulas you asked about. –  Andreas Blass Aug 14 '13 at 15:54
    
Yes, at least in the classical setting. Is there a special name for these? –  François G. Dorais Aug 14 '13 at 16:02
    
I don't know any special name unless "universal" counts as special. –  Andreas Blass Aug 14 '13 at 16:03
    
Nothing else came to mind either but "universal algebraic theory" sounds weird (to me). –  François G. Dorais Aug 14 '13 at 16:08
    
The trouble with "universal algebraic theory" is that it sounds like a theory in universal algebra. (It reads as though "universal" modifies "algebraic" rather than "theory".) So the best I can do is "universal theory in an algebraic language" (or "vocabulary" or "similarity type" or whatever other synonym for "language" sounds nice). –  Andreas Blass Aug 14 '13 at 16:11
show 2 more comments

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.