Formal category theory in augmented virtual double categories

Seerp Roald Koudenburg

In this article we develop formal category theory within augmented virtual double categories. Notably we formalise the classical notions of Kan extension, Yoneda embedding y:A→Â, exact square, total category and 'small' cocompletion; the latter in an appropriate sense. Throughout we compare our formalisations to their corresponding 2-categorical counterparts. Our approach has several advantages. For instance, the structure of augmented virtual double categories naturally allows us to isolate conditions that ensure small cocompleteness of formal presheaf objects Â. Given a monoidal augmented virtual double category K with a Yoneda embedding y:I→Î for its monoidal unit I we prove that, for any unital object A in K that has a 'horizontal dual' A°, the Yoneda embedding y:A→Â exists if and only if the inner hom [A°, Î] exists. This result is a special case of a more general result that, given a functor F:K→L of augmented virtual double categories, allows a Yoneda embedding in L to be "lifted", along a pair of 'universal morphisms' in L, to a Yoneda embedding in K.

Keywords: formal category theory, Kan extension, Yoneda embedding, Yoneda structure, exactness, totality, free cocompletion, augmented virtual double category

2020 MSC: 18D65, 18D70, 18N10

Theory and Applications of Categories, Vol. 41, 2024, No. 10, pp 288-413.

Published 2024-04-02.

TAC Home