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Relations that involve two 'places' or 'roles' are called binary relations by some and dyadic relations by others, the latter being historically prior but also useful when necessary to avoid confusion with binary (base 2) numerals.

From the more abstract viewpoints of formal logic and model theory, the relation L is seen as constituting a logical model or a relational structure that serves as one of many possible interpretations of a corresponding k-place predicate symbol, as that term is used in predicate calculus.

Another variation reserves the term 'relation' to the corresponding logical entity, either the logical comprehension, which is the totality of intensions or abstract properties that all of the elements of the relation in extension have in common, or else the symbols that are taken to denote these elements and intensions.

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