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Polynomial functors and opetopes

By Joachim Kock, André Joyal, Michael Batanin, and Jean-François Mascari

Adv. Math. 224 (2010) 2690-2737.


We give an elementary and direct combinatorial definition of opetopes in terms of trees, well-suited for graphical manipulation and explicit computation. To relate our definition to the classical definition, we recast the Baez-Dolan slice construction for operads in terms of polynomial monads: our opetopes appear naturally as types for polynomial monads obtained by iterating the Baez-Dolan construction, starting with the trivial monad. We show that our notion of opetope agrees with Leinster's. Next we observe a suspension operation for opetopes, and define a notion of stable opetopes. Stable opetopes form a least fixpoint for the Baez-Dolan construction. A final section is devoted to example computations, and indicates also how the calculus of opetopes is well-suited for machine implementation.

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See examples of opetopes in high dimension

Read the documentation for the opetope scripts

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Try Eric Finster's online interactive opetope explorer

Last updated: 2011-09-08 by Joachim Kock.