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Ternary relations

29. Predicate Logic n-ary predicates


The Lecture

A ternary (3-place) relation binds three elements just as a binary relation binds two elements. x,y and z are on the same line is an important ternary relation on the plane. A ternary relation on a set M is any subset of M3, i.e. any set of triples (a,b,c), where a,b,c are from M. Relations are also called predicates.
Jouko Vnnen: Predicate logic
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Ternary predicate symbols


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Unary predicate symbols P0,P1, Binary predicate symbols R0,R1, Ternary predicate symbols R03, R13,

In a structure M a ternary predicate symbol R03 is interpreted as a ternary relation (R03)M.

Jouko Vnnen: Predicate logic

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Jouko Vnnen: Predicate logic

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n-ary relations
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n-ary predicate symbols


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An n-ary (n-place) relation binds n elements just as a ternary relation binds three elements. x-y=z-u is a 4-ary relation on the reals. (Equidistance relation) Student x in course y got z credit points in exam u in the year z is a 5-ary relation. n-ary relations resemble databases. An n-ary relation on a set M is a set of ntuples (a1,,an) of elements of M.
Jouko Vnnen: Predicate logic
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We allow vocabularies to have


" " "

Unary predicate symbols P0,P1, Binary predicate symbols R0,R1, n-ary predicate symbols R0n, R1n,

In a structure M a ternary predicate symbol R0n is interpreted as an n-ary relation (R0n)M.

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Predicate logic with n-ary predicate symbols


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Identity axioms for n-ary predicates


Since we have new atomic formulas we have to also add new identity axioms: I1 !x x=x I2 !x!y(x=y!y=x) I3 !x!y((x=y & y=z)!x=z) I4 !x!y((x=y & Pn(x))!Pn(y)) I5 !x!x!y!y((x=y & x=y & Rn(x,x))!Rn(y,y)) I6 !x1!xn!y1!yn((x1=y1 & xn=yn & Rn

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There is no change to the rules of natural deduction and semantic trees. Deductions are made just as before. R03(x,y,z) is just like any other formula, e.g. one of the following:
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xEy & yEz P0(x)&P1(y)&P2(z) R0(x,y)vR0(x,z)vR0(y,z)

except that it is atomic.


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(x1,,xn))!Rn(y1,,yn))
Jouko Vnnen: Predicate logic
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