Let $\nat^\nat$ be the semigroup of all mappings on the natural numbers $\nat$, and let $U$ and $V$ be subsets of $\nat^\nat$. We write $U\preccurlyeq V$ if there exists a countable subset $C$ of $\nat^\nat$ such that $U$ is contained in the subsemigroup generated by $V$ and $C$. We give several results about the structure of the preorder $\preccurlyeq$. In particular, we show that a certain statement about this preorder is equivalent to the Continuum Hypothesis. The preorder $\preccurlyeq$ is analogous to one introduced by Bergman and Shelah on subgroups of the symmetric group on $\nat$. The results in this paper suggest that the preorder on subsemigroups of $\nat^\nat$ is much more complicated than that on subgroups of the symmetric group.
- Topological Algebra
- Continuum Hypothesis