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Gitegory Theory.

We begin by defining a category of files and patches, where the operation of merging the effect of two coinitial patches is defined by pushout. Since two patches can be incompatible, such a pushout does not necessarily exist in the category, which raises the question of which is the correct category to represent and manipulate files in conflicting state. We provide an answer by investigating the free completion of the category of files under finite colimits, and give an explicit description of this category: its objects are finite sets labeled by lines equipped with a transitive relation and morphisms are partial functions respecting labeling and relations.

Samuel Mimram, Cinzia Di Giusto: A Categorical Theory of Patches (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.entcs.2013.09.018)