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1.

Equivalence relations
Definition:
A relation R is an equivalence relation if and only if it is reflexive,
symmetric and transitive.
Examples:
Let m and n be integers and let d be a positive integer. The notation
m n (mod d)
is read "m is congruent to n modulo d".
The meaning is: the integer division of d into m gives the same
remainder
as the integer division of d into n.
Consider the relation R = {(x,y)| x mod 3 = y mod 3}
For example, 4 mod 3 = 1, 7 mod 3 = 1, hence hence (4,7) R.
The relation is
reflexive: x mod 3 = x mod 3
symmetric: if x mod 3 = y mod 3, then y mod 3 = x mod 3
transitive: if x mod 3 = y mod 3, and y mod 3 = z mod 3, then x
mod 3 = z mod 3
Consider the sets [x]= {y | yRx}, where x is an integer, and R is the
relation above.
[0] = {0,3,6,9,12,.}
[1] = {1,4,7,10,13,.}
[2] = {2,5,8,11,14,}
From the definition of [x] it follows that
[0] = [3] = [6]
[1] = [4] =
[2] = [5] =
Thus the relation R produces three different sets [0], [1] and [2].

Each number is exactly in one of these sets.


The set {[0], [1], [2]} is a partition of the set of non-negative
integers.
Theorem: Each equivalence relation on a set induces a partition of
that set,
and each partition of a set induces an equivalent relation on the set.
The sets in the partition are called classes of equivalence.
2. Partial orders
Definition:
Let R be a binary relation defined on a set A.
R is a partial order relation iff R is reflexive, transitive and antisymmetric.
Examples:
1. Let A be a set, and P(A) be the power set of A.
The relation 'subset of' on P (A) is a partial order relation
2. Let N be the set of positive integers, and R be a relation defined
as follows:
(x, y) R iff y is a multiple of x, e.g. (3,12) R, while (3, 4) R
R is a partial order relation. It is reflexive, anti-symmetric, and
transitive
3. Total orders
Definition: A partial order is a total or linear order iff for
all x and y in the set
either xRy or yRx is true.
In a totally ordered set all elements are comparable.
Example: The relation "less than or equal to" is a total order relation.
4. More examples
Equivalence

1. Consider the set T of all triangles and relation R = {(x,y)| x and


y have equal angles}
R is an equivalence relation. It has the three properties:
1. Reflexivity xRx
2. Symmetry: If xRy then yRx
3. Transitivity: If xRy and yRz, then xRz
2. Consider the set P of all persons and the relation R "having same
age".
R is a relation of equivalence:
1. Reflexivity: obviously, a person has same age as
him/herself.
2. Symmetry: If person a has same age as person b, then
person b has
same age as person a
3. Transitivity: If person a has same age as person b, and
person b has
same age as person c, then person a has same age as
person c.
3. Consider the set S of all students in a college and the relation R
"having the same advisor".
R is a relation of equivalence:
1. Reflexivity: obviously, a student has the same advisor.
2. Symmetry: If student a has the same advisor as
student b, then
student b has the same advisor as student a
3. Transitivity: If student a has the same advisor as
student b,
and student b has the same advisor as student c, then
student a has
the same advisor as student c.

4. Consider the set of all people and the relation R having same
first name.
R is a relation of equivalence.
5. Consider the set of all English words and the relation
R = {(a,b)| a and b have same number of letters. R is a relation
of equivalence.
Partial and total orders
6. Consider the set W of all English words and the relation R =
{(a,b)| the first letter in b is alphabetically equal or greater than
the first letter in a}.
R is a total order on W:
1. Reflexivity: obviously aRa is true for all words.
2. Anti-symmetry: if aRb , a b, then (b,a) R
3. Transitivity: if aRb and bRc, then aRc.
R is a total order because any two words are comparable.
2. Consider the power set of a set A = {a, b, c} and the relation R
defined on the power set of A. R = {(Ai,Aj)| Ai. Aj}. R is a
partial order. It is not a total order.

If we eliminate the links implied by the transitivity, we get a simpler


diagram, called Hasse diagram: