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A unified approach to the construction of categories of games

A unified approach to the construction of categories of games

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Published by sfwc
Nathan Bowler's PhD thesis - this is the version before the viva, so there may be some (hopefully minor) changes.
Nathan Bowler's PhD thesis - this is the version before the viva, so there may be some (hopefully minor) changes.

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Published by: sfwc on Aug 14, 2010
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10/29/2011

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A unified approach to the construction of categories of games
1Nathan James BowlerTrinity CollegeAugust 2010
1
This dissertation is submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
 
This dissertation is the result of my own work and includes nothing which is the outcome of work done in collaboration.
1
 
A unified approach to the construction of categories of games
Nathan Bowler 
Our aim is to explain a way to construct categories of games by combining2-dimensional structures called
playpens
. We use a running example of acategory of games based on digraphs.We explain some basic properties of digraphs, including a construction of a tensor product on this category by means of a promonoidal structure onthe category consisting of a parallel pair of maps. We describe a coreflectivesubcategory of the category of digraphs which is naturally thought of as acategory of trees.To motivate the 2-dimensional structures we shall use, we introduce theconcept of unwiring. This formalises the idea of a structure whose elementscan be decomposed over the shapes provided by a monad. We show that thisconstruction picks out a well-behaved class of exponentiable objects, andallows the lifting of exponentiation functors to categories of algebras.We explore the details of the special case of this construction for freemulticategory monads. Examining what happens for the free
fc
-mulicategorymonad leads to the introduction of playpens. We explore simple constructionsand examples of playpens, and show how these may be used to produce an
fc
-multicategory of games based on digraphs.We outline the theory of representability for
fc
-multicategories, and wedemonstrate that the
fc
-multicategory we’ve produced underlies a strict dou-ble category, whose horizontal part is a standard category of games. Weexplore a link between this construction and slicing in
fc
-multicategories.We explain how to modify the construction so far to produce categorieswith different conventions for play, with different notions of strategy, andwith different combinatorial notions of game (including trees of the kindmentioned earlier). By means of these examples, we hope to indicate thevariety of potential further extensions of our construction.2

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