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In mathematics, an upper set (also called an upward closed set or just an upset) of a partially ordered set (X,≤) is a subset U with the property that, if x is in U and x≤y, then y is in U.
The dual notion is lower set (alternatively, down set, decreasing set, initial segment; the set is downward closed), which is a subset L with the property that, if x is in L and y≤x, then y is in L.
An ordinal number is usually identified with the set of all smaller ordinal numbers. Thus each ordinal number forms a lower set in the class of all ordinal numbers, which are totally ordered by set inclusion.