Nehring, Klaus Hanson, Gordon H. Llavador, Humberto G.
Year of Publication:
Working Paper 97-10
The central result of this paper establishes an isomorphism between two types of mathematical structures: ""ternary preorders"" and ""convex topologies."" The former are characterized by reflexivity, symmetry and transitivity conditions, and can be interpreted geometrically as ordered betweenness relations; the latter are defined as intersection-closed families of sets satisfying an ""abstract convexity"" property. A large range of examples is given. As corollaries of the main result we obtain a version of Birkhoff''s representation theorem for finite distributive lattices, and a qualitative version of the representation of ultrametric distances by indexed taxonomic hierarchies.