I'm currently writing a paper on analysing miRNA targeting in animals. It's principally a statistical analysis involving many graphs.
However, to explain the creation of one of the graphs, I've resorted to using set theory notation, as this, to me, seemed the most efficient way of explaining how the graph was produced.
However, this may potentially have some issues:
1) Will the use of terminology that is outside the theme of papers in this field detract from the description? Such that few people who read this paper will understand set theory and therefore many will not understand the mathematical notation? The description, I hasten to add, will be a tenth of the length when using set theory notation.
2) Evidently, concepts should always be written as clearly as possible, but where is the line formed between explaining concepts in words, as opposed to mathematical notation? Why would one choose one way over another?
3) Should you make assumption of the mathematical understanding of a person reading the paper?