Quotients of span categories that are allegories and the representation of regular categories

by   S. Naser Hosseini, et al.

We consider the ordinary category Span(C) of (isomorphism classes of) spans of morphisms in a category C with finite limits as needed, composed horizontally via pullback, and give a general criterion for a quotient of Span(C) to be an allegory. In particular, when C carries a pullback-stable, but not necessarily proper, (E, M)-factorization system, we establish a quotient category Span_E(C) that is isomorphic to the category Rel_M(C) of M-relations in C, and show that it is a (unitary and tabular) allegory precisely when M is a class of monomorphisms in C. Without this restriction, one can still find a least pullback-stable and composition-closed class E. containing E such that Span_E.(C) is a unitary and tabular allegory. In this way one obtains a left adjoint to the 2-functor that assigns to every unitary and tabular allegory the regular category of its Lawverian maps. With the Freyd-Scedrov Representation Theorem for regular categories, we conclude that every finitely complete category with a stable factorization system has a reflection into the huge 2-category of all regular categories.



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