A scattering of orders

Uri Abraham, Robert Bonnet, James Cummings, Mirna Džamonja, Katherine Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


A linear ordering is scattered if it does not contain a copy of the rationals. Hausdorff characterised the class of scattered linear orderings as the least family of linear orderings that includes the class $ \mathcal B$ of well-orderings and reversed well-orderings, and is closed under lexicographic sums with index set in $ \mathcal B$.

More generally, we say that a partial ordering is $ \kappa $-scattered if it does not contain a copy of any $ \kappa $-dense linear ordering. We prove analogues of Hausdorff's result for $ \kappa $-scattered linear orderings, and for $ \kappa $-scattered partial orderings satisfying the finite antichain condition.

We also study the $ \mathbb{Q}_\kappa $-scattered partial orderings, where $ \mathbb{Q}_\kappa $ is the saturated linear ordering of cardinality $ \kappa $, and a partial ordering is $ \mathbb{Q}_\kappa $-scattered when it embeds no copy of $ \mathbb{Q}_\kappa $. We classify the $ \mathbb{Q}_\kappa $-scattered partial orderings with the finite antichain condition relative to the $ \mathbb{Q}_\kappa $-scattered linear orderings. We show that in general the property of being a $ \mathbb{Q}_\kappa $-scattered linear ordering is not absolute, and argue that this makes a classification theorem for such orderings hard to achieve without extra set-theoretic assumptions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6259-6278
Number of pages20
JournalTransactions of the American Mathematical Society
Early online date2 Jul 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Cite this