John Baez

Categorical Foundations of Network Theory

May 25, 2015

Network Theory

Nature and the world of human technology are full of networks. People like to draw diagrams of networks: flow charts, electrical circuit diagrams, signal-flow graphs, Bayesian networks, Feynman diagrams and the like. Mathematically minded people know that in principle these diagrams fit into a common framework. But we are still far from a unified theory of networks. Here we propose symmetric monoidal categories as a general framework - or for a more detailed treatment, symmetric monoidal bicategories. We illustrate this with a number of key examples, and show how these examples are connected by functors.

You can see the slides here.

For a series of videos and slides covering different aspects of network theory, try:

To read more about the network theory project, go here:

© 2015 John Baez (except for image)