In

_{''α''} is contained in ''T'', where ''T'' is the topology on ''X'').
A cover of ''X'' is said to be locally finite if every point of ''X'' has a

mathematics
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, and more particularly in set theory
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Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and ...

, a cover (or covering) of a set $X$ is a collection of subset
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s of $X$ whose union is all of $X$. More formally, if $C\; =\; \backslash lbrace\; U\_\backslash alpha\; :\; \backslash alpha\; \backslash in\; A\; \backslash rbrace$ is an indexed family of subsets $U\_\backslash alpha\backslash subset\; X$, then $C$ is a cover of $X$ if
$\backslash bigcup\_U\_\; =\; X$. Thus the collection $\backslash lbrace\; U\_\backslash alpha\; :\; \backslash alpha\; \backslash in\; A\; \backslash rbrace$ is a cover of $X$ if each element of $X$ belongs to at least one of the subsets $U\_$.
Cover in topology

Covers are commonly used in the context oftopology
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. If the set $X$ is a topological space, then a ''cover'' $C$ of $X$ is a collection of subsets $\backslash \_$ of $X$ whose union is the whole space $X$. In this case we say that $C$ ''covers'' $X$, or that the sets $U\_\backslash alpha$ ''cover'' $X$.
Also, if $Y$ is a (topological) subspace of $X$, then a ''cover'' of $Y$ is a collection of subsets $C=\backslash \_$ of $X$ whose union contains $Y$, i.e., $C$ is a cover of $Y$ if
:$Y\; \backslash subseteq\; \backslash bigcup\_U\_.$
That is, we may cover $Y$ with either open sets in $Y$ itself, or cover $Y$ by open sets in the parent space $X$.
Let ''C'' be a cover of a topological space ''X''. A subcover of ''C'' is a subset of ''C'' that still covers ''X''.
We say that ''C'' is an if each of its members is an open set (i.e. each ''U''neighborhood
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that intersects only finitely many sets in the cover. Formally, ''C'' = is locally finite if for any $x\; \backslash in\; X,$ there exists some neighborhood ''N''(''x'') of ''x'' such that the set
:$\backslash left\backslash $
is finite. A cover of ''X'' is said to be point finite if every point of ''X'' is contained in only finitely many sets in the cover. A cover is point finite if it is locally finite, though the converse is not necessarily true.
Refinement

A refinement of a cover $C$ of a topological space $X$ is a new cover $D$ of $X$ such that every set in $D$ is contained in some set in $C$. Formally, :$D\; =\; \backslash \_$ is a refinement of $C\; =\; \backslash \_$ if for all $\backslash beta\; \backslash in\; B$ there exists $\backslash alpha\; \backslash in\; A$ such that $V\_\; \backslash subseteq\; U\_.$ In other words, there is a refinement map $\backslash phi\; :\; B\; \backslash to\; A$ satisfying $V\_\; \backslash subseteq\; U\_$ for every $\backslash beta\; \backslash in\; B.$ This map is used, for instance, in the Čech cohomology of $X$. Every subcover is also a refinement, but the opposite is not always true. A subcover is made from the sets that are in the cover, but omitting some of them; whereas a refinement is made from any sets that are subsets of the sets in the cover. The refinement relation is a preorder on the set of covers of $X$. Generally speaking, a refinement of a given structure is another that in some sense contains it. Examples are to be found when partitioning an interval (one refinement of $a\_0\; <\; a\_1\; <\; \backslash cdots\; <\; a\_n$ being $a\_0\; <\; b\_0\; <\; a\_1\; <\; a\_2\; <\; \backslash cdots\; <\; a\_\; <\; b\_1\; <\; a\_n$), considering topologies (the standard topology in euclidean space being a refinement of the trivial topology). When subdividingsimplicial complex
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es (the first barycentric subdivision of a simplicial complex is a refinement), the situation is slightly different: every simplex in the finer complex is a face of some simplex in the coarser one, and both have equal underlying polyhedra.
Yet another notion of refinement is that of star refinement.
Subcover

A simple way to get a subcover is to omit the sets contained in another set in the cover. Consider specifically open covers. Let $\backslash mathcal$ be a topological basis of $X$ and $\backslash mathcal$ be an open cover of $X.$ First take $\backslash mathcal\; =\; \backslash .$ Then $\backslash mathcal$ is a refinement of $\backslash mathcal$. Next, for each $A\; \backslash in\; \backslash mathcal,$ we select a $U\_\; \backslash in\; \backslash mathcal$ containing $A$ (requiring the axiom of choice). Then $\backslash mathcal\; =\; \backslash $ is a subcover of $\backslash mathcal.$ Hence the cardinality of a subcover of an open cover can be as small as that of any topological basis. Hence in particular second countability implies a space is Lindelöf.Compactness

The language of covers is often used to define several topological properties related to ''compactness''. A topological space ''X'' is said to be ; Compact: if every open cover has a finite subcover, (or equivalently that every open cover has a finite refinement); ; Lindelöf: if every open cover has acountable
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subcover, (or equivalently that every open cover has a countable refinement);
; Metacompact: if every open cover has a point-finite open refinement;
; Paracompact: if every open cover admits a locally finite open refinement.
For some more variations see the above articles.
Covering dimension

A topological space ''X'' is said to be of covering dimension ''n'' if every open cover of ''X'' has a point-finite open refinement such that no point of ''X'' is included in more than ''n+''1 sets in the refinement and if ''n'' is the minimum value for which this is true. If no such minimal ''n'' exists, the space is said to be of infinite covering dimension.See also

* * * * * * *Notes

References

#''Introduction to Topology'', Second Edition, Theodore W. Gamelin & Robert Everist Greene. Dover Publications 1999. #''General Topology'', John L. Kelley. D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc. Princeton, NJ. 1955.External links

* {{springer, title=Covering (of a set), id=p/c026950 Topology General topology