This post is for future (google) reference for my project of relating approximate groups with emergent algebras. I would appreciate any constructive comment which could validate (or invalidate) this path of research.

Here is the path I would like to pursue further. The notion of approximate groupoid (see here for the definition) is not complete, because it is flattened, i.e. the set of arrows should be seen as a set of variables. What I think is that the correct notion of approximate groupoid is a polynomial functor over groupoids (precisely a specific family of such functors). The category Grpd is cartesian closed, so it has an associated model of (typed) lambda calculus. By using this observation I could apply emergent algebra techniques (under the form of my graphic lambda calculus, which was developed with — and partially funded by — this application in mind) to approximate groupoids and hope to obtain streamlined proofs of Breuillard-Green-Tao type results.

He had bought a large map representing the sea, / Without the least vestige of land: / And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be / A map they could all understand.

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