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Hasse Diagrams

It is a useful tool, which completely describes the associated partial order. Therefore, it is also called an ordering diagram. It is very easy to convert a directed graph of a relation on a set A to an equivalent Hasse diagram. Therefore, while drawing a Hasse diagram following points must be remembered.

  1. The vertices in the Hasse diagram are denoted by points rather than by circles.
  2. Since a partial order is reflexive, hence each vertex of A must be related to itself, so the edges from a vertex to itself are deleted in Hasse diagram.
  3. Since a partial order is transitive, hence whenever aRb, bRc, we have aRc. Eliminate all edges that are implied by the transitive property in Hasse diagram, i.e., Delete edge from a to c but retain the other two edges.
  4. If a vertex 'a' is connected to vertex 'b' by an edge, i.e., aRb, then the vertex 'b' appears above vertex 'a'. Therefore, the arrow may be omitted from the edges in the Hasse diagram.

The Hasse diagram is much simpler than the directed graph of the partial order.

Example: Consider the set A = {4, 5, 6, 7}. Let R be the relation ≤ on A. Draw the directed graph and the Hasse diagram of R.

Solution: The relation ≤ on the set A is given by

             R = {{4, 5}, {4, 6}, {4, 7}, {5, 6}, {5, 7}, {6, 7}, {4, 4}, {5, 5}, {6, 6}, {7, 7}}

The directed graph of the relation R is as shown in fig:

Hasse Diagrams

To draw the Hasse diagram of partial order, apply the following points:

  1. Delete all edges implied by reflexive property i.e.
    (4, 4), (5, 5), (6, 6), (7, 7)
  2. Delete all edges implied by transitive property i.e.
    (4, 7), (5, 7), (4, 6)
  3. Replace the circles representing the vertices by dots.
  4. Omit the arrows.

The Hasse diagram is as shown in fig:

Hasse Diagrams

Upper Bound: Consider B be a subset of a partially ordered set A. An element x ∈ A is called an upper bound of B if y ≤ x for every y ∈ B.

Lower Bound: Consider B be a subset of a partially ordered set A. An element z ∈ A is called a lower bound of B if z ≤ x for every x ∈ B.

Example: Consider the poset A = {a, b, c, d, e, f, g} be ordered shown in fig. Also let B = {c, d, e}. Determine the upper and lower bound of B.

Hasse Diagrams

Solution: The upper bound of B is e, f, and g because every element of B is '≤' e, f, and g.

The lower bounds of B are a and b because a and b are '≤' every elements of B.

Least Upper Bound (SUPREMUM):

Let A be a subset of a partially ordered set S. An element M in S is called an upper bound of A if M succeeds every element of A, i.e. if, for every x in A, we have x <=M

If an upper bound of A precedes every other upper bound of A, then it is called the supremum of A and is denoted by Sup (A)

Greatest Lower Bound (INFIMUM):

An element m in a poset S is called a lower bound of a subset A of S if m precedes every element of A, i.e. if, for every y in A, we have m <=y

If a lower bound of A succeeds every other lower bound of A, then it is called the infimum of A and is denoted by Inf (A)

Example: Determine the least upper bound and greatest lower bound of B = {a, b, c} if they exist, of the poset whose Hasse diagram is shown in fig:

Hasse Diagrams

Solution: The least upper bound is c.

The greatest lower bound is k.


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