# Lattice (order)

## Set whose pairs have minima and maxima / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A **lattice** is an abstract structure studied in the mathematical subdisciplines of order theory and abstract algebra. It consists of a partially ordered set in which every pair of elements has a unique supremum (also called a least upper bound or join) and a unique infimum (also called a greatest lower bound or meet). An example is given by the power set of a set, partially ordered by inclusion, for which the supremum is the union and the infimum is the intersection. Another example is given by the natural numbers, partially ordered by divisibility, for which the supremum is the least common multiple and the infimum is the greatest common divisor.

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Y indicates that the column's property is always true the row's term (at the very left), while ✗ indicates that the property is not guaranteed in general (it might, or might not, hold). For example, that every equivalence relation is symmetric, but not necessarily antisymmetric, is indicated by Y in the "Symmetric" column and ✗ in the "Antisymmetric" column, respectively. All definitions tacitly require the homogeneous relation $R$ be transitive: for all $a,b,c,$ if $aRb$ and $bRc$ then $aRc.$ |

Algebraic structures |
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Lattices can also be characterized as algebraic structures satisfying certain axiomatic identities. Since the two definitions are equivalent, lattice theory draws on both order theory and universal algebra. Semilattices include lattices, which in turn include Heyting and Boolean algebras. These *lattice-like* structures all admit order-theoretic as well as algebraic descriptions.

The sub-field of abstract algebra that studies lattices is called **lattice theory**.

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