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## Is there a more helpful term than “commutative diagram”? [closed]

I'm learning category theory. I liked this statement in the Wikipedia article on commutative diagram: Commutative diagrams play the role in category theory that equations play in algebra The definition notes that all directed paths in the diagram with the same endpoints lead to the same result by composition.

I find the word commutative confusing because the paths or arrows do not commute AB = BA in the usual way. The paths are associative and so associative diagrams would make more sense to me. But that doesn't capture the fact that you get the same result if you take different paths. Perhaps simply path diagrams would be least confusing.

Does anybody else find the term commutative diagram unhelpful? Has anybody found alternative terminology?

Happy birthday, Math Overflow!

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When you say "unhelpful", what help do you need? You have obviously figured out what the commutative diagrams are for, and I am reasonably confident that anyone who has not after a couple of days of studying some relevant subject (category theory, homological algebra), probably should find another line of work. – Igor Rivin Sep 28 2011 at 20:37
As far as I know: no. Besides, it is now the standard term – Yemon Choi Sep 28 2011 at 20:48
I think that this could be an interesting discussion, on another forum. – Spice the Bird Sep 28 2011 at 21:12
I think that commutative diagrams are more commutative than commutative relations ab=ba :) – Gjergji Zaimi Sep 28 2011 at 23:59