Correspondence (mathematics)

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In mathematics and mathematical economics, correspondence is a term with several related but distinct meanings.

However, the definition of a correspondence in algebraic geometry is not completely standard. For instance, Fulton, in his book on Intersection theory,[3] uses the definition above. In literature, however, a correspondence from a variety X to a variety Y is often taken to be a subset Z of X×Y such that Z is finite and surjective over each component of X. Note the asymmetry in this latter definition; which talks about a correspondence from X to Y rather than a correspondence between X and Y. The typical example of the latter kind of correspondence is the graph of a function f:XY. Correspondences also play an important role in the construction of motives (cf. presheaf with transfers).[4]
  • In category theory, a correspondence from to is a functor . It is the "opposite" of a profunctor.
  • In von Neumann algebra theory, a correspondence is a synonym for a von Neumann algebra bimodule.
  • In economics, a correspondence between two sets and is a map from the elements of the set to the power set of .[5] This is similar to a correspondence as defined in general mathematics (i.e., a relation,) except that the range is over sets instead of elements. However, there is usually the additional property that for all a in A, f(a) is not empty. In other words, each element in A maps to a non-empty subset of B; or in terms of a relation R as subset of A×B, R projects to A surjectively. A correspondence with this additional property is thought of as the generalization of a function, rather than as a special case of a relation, and is referred to in other contexts as a multivalued function.
An example of a correspondence in this sense is the best response correspondence in game theory, which gives the optimal action for a player as a function of the strategies of all other players. If there is always a unique best action given what the other players are doing, then this is a function. If for some opponent's strategy, there is a set of best responses that are equally good, then this is a correspondence.

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  1. ^ Encyclopedic dictionary of Mathematics. MIT. 2000. pp. 1330–1331. ISBN 0-262-59020-4. 
  2. ^ H. S. M. Coxeter (1959) The Real Projective Plane, page 18
  3. ^ Fulton, William (1998), Intersection theory, Ergebnisse der Mathematik und ihrer Grenzgebiete. 3. Folge. A Series of Modern Surveys in Mathematics [Results in Mathematics and Related Areas. 3rd Series. A Series of Modern Surveys in Mathematics], 2, Berlin, New York: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 978-0-387-98549-7, MR 1644323 
  4. ^ Mazza, Carlo; Voevodsky, Vladimir; Weibel, Charles (2006), Lecture notes on motivic cohomology, Clay Mathematics Monographs, 2, Providence, R.I.: American Mathematical Society, ISBN 978-0-8218-3847-1, MR 2242284 
  5. ^ Mas-Colell, Andreu; Whinston, Michael D.; Green, Jerry R. (1995). Microeconomic Analysis. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 949–951. ISBN 0-19-507340-1.