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A subunit in a monoidal category is a subobject of the monoidal unit for which a canonical morphism is invertible. They correspond to open subsets of a base topological space in categories such as those of sheaves or Hilbert modules. We show that under mild conditions subunits endow any monoidal category with topological intuition: there are well-behaved notions of restriction, localisation, and support, even though the subunits in general only form a semilattice. We develop universal constructions completing any monoidal category to one whose subunits universally form a lattice, preframe, or frame.
- monoidal category