Characterization (mathematics)

In mathematics, the statement that "Property P characterizes object X" means that not only does X have property P, but that X is the only thing that has property P. It is also common to find statements such as "Property Q characterises Y up to isomorphism". The first type of statement says in different words that the extension of P is a singleton set. The second says that the extension of Q is a single equivalence class (for isomorphism, in the given example depending on how up to is being used, some other equivalence relation might be involved).


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