In set theory, a branch of mathematics, the difference hierarchy over a pointclass is a hierarchy of larger pointclasses generated by taking differences of sets. If Γ is a pointclass, then the set of differences in Γ is . In usual notation, this set is denoted by 2-Γ. The next level of the hierarchy is denoted by 3-Γ and consists of differences of three sets: . This definition can be extended recursively into the transfinite to α-Γ for some ordinal α.
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