4.1 Definitions for relations

This page merely gives an overview of the three kinds of ideas associated with relations, namely:

  • "relation type",
  • "valence", and
  • "signature".

In later sections, we treat each idea more fully.

All relations have a relation type. This tells us the kind of relation we are dealing with. While concepts have both a type and a referent, relations only have a type.

The valence of a relation is the number of arcs that belong to it. This number, or the valence of a relation, is always greater than or equal to 1.

A relation type also has a signature. The signature of a relation is a list of the concept types involved in the relation.

In the following, we discuss relation type first, then valence, and then signatures.

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