# Axiom of dependent choice

In mathematics, the axiom of dependent choice, denoted by ${\displaystyle {\mathsf {DC}}}$, is a weak form of the axiom of choice (${\displaystyle {\mathsf {AC}}}$) that is still sufficient to develop most of real analysis. It was introduced by Paul Bernays in a 1942 article that explores which set-theoretic axioms are needed to develop analysis.[lower-alpha 1]

## Formal statement

The axiom can be stated as follows: For every nonempty set ${\displaystyle X}$ and every entire binary relation ${\displaystyle R}$ on ${\displaystyle X,}$ there exists a sequence ${\displaystyle (x_{n})_{n\in \mathbb {N} }}$ in ${\displaystyle X}$ such that ${\displaystyle x_{n}\ R~x_{n+1}}$ for all ${\displaystyle n\in \mathbb {N} .}$ (Here, an entire binary relation on ${\displaystyle X}$ is one where for every ${\displaystyle a\in X,}$ there exists some ${\displaystyle b\in X}$ such that ${\displaystyle a\ R~b}$ is true.) Even without such an axiom, one can use ordinary mathematical induction to form the first ${\displaystyle n}$ terms of such a sequence, for every ${\displaystyle n\in \mathbb {N} {\text{;}}}$ the axiom of dependent choice says that we can form a whole sequence this way.

If the set ${\displaystyle X}$ above is restricted to be the set of all real numbers, then the resulting axiom is denoted by ${\displaystyle {\mathsf {DC}}_{\mathbf {R} }.}$

## Use

${\displaystyle {\mathsf {DC}}}$ is the fragment of ${\displaystyle {\mathsf {AC}}}$ that is required to show the existence of a sequence constructed by transfinite recursion of countable length, if it is necessary to make a choice at each step and if some of those choices cannot be made independently of previous choices.

## Equivalent statements

Over Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory ${\displaystyle {\mathsf {ZF}}}$, ${\displaystyle {\mathsf {DC}}}$ is equivalent to the Baire category theorem for complete metric spaces.[1]

It is also equivalent over ${\displaystyle {\mathsf {ZF}}}$ to the Löwenheim–Skolem theorem.[lower-alpha 2][2]

${\displaystyle {\mathsf {DC}}}$ is also equivalent over ${\displaystyle {\mathsf {ZF}}}$ to the statement that every pruned tree with ${\displaystyle \omega }$ levels has a branch (proof below).

## Relation with other axioms

Unlike full ${\displaystyle {\mathsf {AC}}}$, ${\displaystyle {\mathsf {DC}}}$ is insufficient to prove (given ${\displaystyle {\mathsf {ZF}}}$) that there is a non-measurable set of real numbers, or that there is a set of real numbers without the property of Baire or without the perfect set property. This follows because the Solovay model satisfies ${\displaystyle {\mathsf {ZF}}+{\mathsf {DC}}}$, and every set of real numbers in this model is Lebesgue measurable, has the Baire property and has the perfect set property.

The axiom of dependent choice implies the axiom of countable choice and is strictly stronger.[3][4]

## Notes

1. "The foundation of analysis does not require the full generality of set theory but can be accomplished within a more restricted frame." Bernays, Paul (1942). "Part III. Infinity and enumerability. Analysis" (PDF). Journal of Symbolic Logic. A system of axiomatic set theory. 7 (2): 65–89. doi:10.2307/2266303. JSTOR 2266303. MR 0006333. The axiom of dependent choice is stated on p. 86.
2. Moore states that "Principle of Dependent Choices ${\displaystyle \Rightarrow }$ Löwenheim–Skolem theorem" — that is, ${\displaystyle {\mathsf {DC}}}$ implies the Löwenheim–Skolem theorem. See table Moore, Gregory H. (1982). Zermelo's Axiom of Choice: Its origins, development, and influence. Springer. p. 325. ISBN 0-387-90670-3.

## References

1. "The Baire category theorem implies the principle of dependent choices." Blair, Charles E. (1977). "The Baire category theorem implies the principle of dependent choices". Bull. Acad. Polon. Sci. Sér. Sci. Math. Astronom. Phys. 25 (10): 933–934.
2. The converse is proved in Boolos, George S.; Jeffrey, Richard C. (1989). Computability and Logic (3rd ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 155–156. ISBN 0-521-38026-X.
3. Bernays proved that the axiom of dependent choice implies the axiom of countable choice See esp. p. 86 in Bernays, Paul (1942). "Part III. Infinity and enumerability. Analysis" (PDF). Journal of Symbolic Logic. A system of axiomatic set theory. 7 (2): 65–89. doi:10.2307/2266303. JSTOR 2266303. MR 0006333.
4. For a proof that the Axiom of Countable Choice does not imply the Axiom of Dependent Choice see Jech, Thomas (1973), The Axiom of Choice, North Holland, pp. 130–131, ISBN 978-0-486-46624-8