Indexed on: 21 Jul '05Published on: 21 Jul '05Published in: Mathematics - Category Theory
Proofs of coherence in category theory, starting from Mac Lane's original proof of coherence for monoidal categories, are sometimes based on confluence techniques analogous to what one finds in the lambda calculus, or in term-rewriting systems in general. This applies to coherence results that assert that a category is a preorder, i.e. that ``all diagrams commute''. This note is about this analogy, paying particular attention to cases where the category for which coherence is proved is not a groupoid.