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Cospan notations (Rev #5, changes)

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This is a page for listing notational conventions regarding decorated and structured cospans, fibrations, etc. in the papers written by John Baez, Daniel Cicalas, Cicala, Kenny Courser, Jade Master, Joe Moeller and Christina Vasilakopoulou.

For examples of papers obeying these conventions see:

  • John Baez and Jade Master, Open Petri nets: PDF and LaTeX.

  • John Baez and Kenny Courser, Structured cospan categories (draft): PDF and LaTeX.


We use \mathsf for categories, \mathbf for bicategories and use \mathbb in the first letter for double categories, boldface for the rest. So, for example, in applications to Markov processes we have a category Mark\mathsf{Mark}, a bicategory Mark\mathbf{Mark} and a double category 𝕄ark\mathbb{M}\mathbf{ark}. They look better in an actual paper!

We use L:AXL : \mathsf{A} \to \mathsf{X} as our general example of a left adjoint in the theory of structured cospans, and R:XAR : \mathsf{X} \to \mathsf{A} for its right adjoint.


Placing these macros in your LaTeX preamble can help simplify following the conventions.

  • Categories

: \newcommand{\cat}[1]{\mathsf}

  • Bicategories

: \newcommand{\bicat}[1]{\mathbf}

  • Double categories

: \newcommand{\doublecat}[1]{\mathbf{\mathbb #1}}