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Math Help - Supersequence (terminology)

  1. #1
    MHF Contributor Swlabr's Avatar
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    Supersequence (terminology)

    If A \subset B with A, B sets then A is a subset, B a superset. My question is, do we use the same terminology for sequences? If \{x_j\}_{j \in J} is a subsequence of \{x_i\}_{i \in I} does that mean that \{x_i\}_{i \in I} is a supersequence?

    If not, what do we call it? Surely it must have a name!

    Wikipedia thinks supersequence is a geological term, while the Penguin Dictionary of Maths omits both superset and supersequence...
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Tinyboss's Avatar
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    In my experience, "superset" is almost never used, though I have come across it before (usually not in a formal context, though). Instead of saying "A is a superset of B", it's customary to just say, "B is a subset of A".

    I've never heard "supersequence".

    I suspect that, in both cases, it's because it's not particularly meaningful to talk about all the supersets or supersequences of a set or sequence. On the other hand, we commonly (though not necessarily) say "x<y" or "x>y", rather than "x<y" or "y<x" (i.e. we use both "less than" and "greater than", not just "less than"), because it is meaningful to talk about all the numbers greater than y.
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  3. #3
    MHF Contributor Drexel28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swlabr View Post
    If A \subset B with A, B sets then A is a subset, B a superset. My question is, do we use the same terminology for sequences? If \{x_j\}_{j \in J} is a subsequence of \{x_i\}_{i \in I} does that mean that \{x_i\}_{i \in I} is a supersequence?

    If not, what do we call it? Surely it must have a name!

    Wikipedia thinks supersequence is a geological term, while the Penguin Dictionary of Maths omits both superset and supersequence...
    I've never heard of that notation. Easy fix? Just say prior to you argument "Define a supersequence of a sequence to be..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinyboss View Post
    In my experience, "superset" is almost never used, though I have come across it before (usually not in a formal context, though). Instead of saying "A is a superset of B", it's customary to just say, "B is a subset of A".

    I've never heard "supersequence".

    I suspect that, in both cases, it's because it's not particularly meaningful to talk about all the supersets or supersequences of a set or sequence. On the other hand, we commonly (though not necessarily) say "x<y" or "x>y", rather than "x<y" or "y<x" (i.e. we use both "less than" and "greater than", not just "less than"), because it is meaningful to talk about all the numbers greater than y.
    Really? I don't think it's that rare. I use it when it's more presentable. It is analogous as the following:

    While equivalent saying \frac{1}{n+1}\geqslant\frac{1}{2n}\geqslant \frac{1}{2}\cdot 0=0 is much more logically presentable then 0=\frac{1}{2}\cdot 0\leqslant \frac{1}{2n}\leqslant\frac{1}{n+1} when we are trying to prove \frac{1}{n+1}\geqslant 0. Or at least it is for me. It's almost because the "subject" of the inequality is the \frac{1}{n+1} and one usually begins with the "subject".
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Tinyboss's Avatar
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    I think maybe you misunderstood me. I meant that we do use both < and >, while we don't often talk about supersets and supersequences, because the former is more often meaningful than the latter.
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  5. #5
    MHF Contributor Swlabr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinyboss View Post
    I think maybe you misunderstood me. I meant that we do use both < and >, while we don't often talk about supersets and supersequences, because the former is more often meaningful than the latter.
    You use subset and superset precisely like you would use former and latter. I really can't give a better, or simplier, reason than that! It is a word for referencing it. An example of usage:

    "x is in the subset implies that x is in the superset".

    What I want to say is something along the lines of

    "...the subsequence converges and so the supersequence converges..."

    I suppose I could just refer to it as "the sequence"...
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Tinyboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swlabr View Post
    YWhat I want to say is something along the lines of

    "...the subsequence converges and so the supersequence converges..."
    Watch out, that's not at all true!
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  7. #7
    MHF Contributor Swlabr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinyboss View Post
    Watch out, that's not at all true!
    I had written "as it is Cauchy", but decided to leave that to the "..."...
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  8. #8
    MHF Contributor Drexel28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swlabr View Post
    I had written "as it is Cauchy", but decided to leave that to the "..."...
    If you are saying that every Cauchy sequence with a convergent subsequence is convergent then you're right. Is that what you're saying?
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  9. #9
    MHF Contributor Swlabr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drexel28 View Post
    If you are saying that every Cauchy sequence with a convergent subsequence is convergent then you're right. Is that what you're saying?
    Well, that was an example of where I would use "supersequence", but it's not actually where I was trying to use it (I do know the Cauchy result holds).

    Although now that I look at where I was trying to use it then it is actually pretty similar;

    "Suppose \{x_n + Y\} is a Cauchy sequence in X/Y. Then if we show that some subsequence \{x_m + Y\} converges to a limit in X/Y we are done as the entire sequence will converge to the same limit as the supersequence is Cauchy."

    Neat proofs with clumsy wordings are the way forward!
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  10. #10
    MHF Contributor Drexel28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swlabr View Post
    Well, that was an example of where I would use "supersequence", but it's not actually where I was trying to use it (I do know the Cauchy result holds).

    Although now that I look at where I was trying to use it then it is actually pretty similar;

    "Suppose \{x_n + Y\} is a Cauchy sequence in X/Y. Then if we show that some subsequence \{x_m + Y\} converges to a limit in X/Y we are done as the entire sequence will converge to the same limit as the supersequence is Cauchy."

    Neat proofs with clumsy wordings are the way forward!
    What in the name of God does that problem mean? Is that a quotient space?
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  11. #11
    MHF Contributor Swlabr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drexel28 View Post
    What in the name of God does that problem mean? Is that a quotient space?
    My problem isn't a maths-ey problem, it is a terminology one. Am I allowed to use the word "supersequence".

    The context is what I posted above, which is halfway through a proof about quotient spaces and completeness.
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  12. #12
    MHF Contributor Drexel28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swlabr View Post
    My problem isn't a maths-ey problem, it is a terminology one. Am I allowed to use the word "supersequence".

    The context is what I posted above, which is halfway through a proof about quotient spaces and completeness.
    Ok! Just didn't get the X/Y reference, but you obviously now mean the quotient space concept with Banach spaces.
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