Questions tagged [ct.category-theory]

Questions in category theory

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110
votes
7answers
9k views

Solid applications of category theory in TCS?

I've been learning a few bits of category theory. It certainly is a different way of looking at things. (Very rough summary for those who haven't seen it: category theory gives ways of expressing all ...
46
votes
2answers
6k views

Explaining Applicative functor in categorical terms - monoidal functors

I'd like to understand Applicative in terms of category theory. The documentation for Applicative says that it's a strong lax ...
33
votes
12answers
6k views

Algebra oriented branch of theoretical computer science

I have a very strong base in algebra, namely commutative algebra, homological algebra, field theory, category theory, and I am currently learning algebraic geometry. I am a math major with an ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

A category of NP-complete problems?

Does it make sense to consider a category of all NP-complete problems, with morphisms as poly-time reductions between different instances? Has anyone ever published a paper about this, and if so, ...
28
votes
2answers
646 views

Bounded-input bijections of infinite sequences

Here is a puzzle I haven't managed to solve. I would like to know if this problem is already known, or has an easy solution. It is possible to define a bijection $ 3^\mathbb{N} \cong 5^\mathbb{N} $ ...
27
votes
3answers
3k views

Impact of Grothendieck's program on TCS

Grothendieck has passed away. He had massive impact on 20th century mathematics continuing into the 21st century. This question is asked somewhat in the style/spirit, for example, of Alan Turing's ...
25
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the folk model of linear logic?

Probably the most common application of linear types in PL is to use them to give languages which control aliasing (i.e., a linear value has a single pointer to it, more or less). But there's a ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

Regular languages from category-theoretical point of view

I noticed that regular languages over the alphabet $\Sigma$ can be naturally thought of as a poset, and indeed a lattice. Moreover, concatenation together with the empty language $\epsilon$ defines a ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the difference between arrows and exponential objects in a cartesian closed category?

In a Cartesian Closed Category (CCC), there exist the so-called exponential objects, written $B^A$. When a CCC is considered as a model of the simply-typed $\lambda$-calculus, an exponential object ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

How are Futures described in terms of category theory?

Is there a useful description of futures or promises in terms of category theory? In particular, what could the categorical dual of Future be?
22
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a relationship between relational algebra/calculus and category theory?

I am aware of at least two different theoretical approaches for understanding relational databases: Codd's relational algebra/calculus, and category theory. Is there any relationship between these ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

Data Structure isomorphisms

Disclaimer: I am not a CS theorist. Coming from abstract algebra, I'm used to dealing with things that are equal up to a isomorphism - but I'm having a trouble translating this concept to data ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a concept of something like co-applicative functors sitting between comonads and functors?

Any monad is also an applicative functor and any applicative functor is a functor. Also, any comonad is a functor. Is there a similar concept between comonads and functors, something like co-...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

Reader, Writer monads

Let $C$ be a CCC. Let $(\times)$ be a product bifunctor on $C$. As Cat is CCC, we can curry $(\times)$: $curry (\times) : C \rightarrow(C \Rightarrow C)$ $curry (\times) A = \lambda B. A \times B$ ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

“The” category of Turing machines?

Disclaimer: I know very little about complexity theory. I'm sorry but there is really no way to ask this question without being (terribly) concise: What should be the morphisms in "the" category ...
18
votes
1answer
659 views

What is the categorical semantics of subtyping?

Starting from Curry-Howard-Lambek, there has been a nice trinity of type theories, logics, and categories. I'm curious what categorical semantics you get when you add (coercive) subtyping to a type ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Status quo of category theory and monads in theoretical computer science research?

Background. I am a bachelor student who is interested in research related to category theory, monads and Haskell, and I want to find a topic for my bachelor’s thesis in that area. I have looked at ...
17
votes
1answer
839 views

Does the uncomputability of Kolmogorov complexity follow from Lawvere's Fixed Point Theorem?

Many theorems and "paradoxes" - Cantor's diagonalization, undecidability of hatling, undeciability of Kolmogorov complexity, Gödel Incompleteness, Chaitin Incompleteness, Russell's paradox, etc. -...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

Category theory, computational complexity, and combinatorics connections?

I have been trying to read “Pearls of Functional Algorithm design”, and subsequently “The Algebra of Programming”, and there is an obvious correspondence between recursively (and polynomially) defined ...
17
votes
0answers
222 views

Using Dependent Type Theory for Categories that are not LCCC

I have recently been working with polynomial functors and monads based mostly on Gambino-Kock. There they define polynomial functors in a Locally Cartesian Closed Category (LCCC) and extensively use ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Category-theoretic treatment of diffs, patches and merging?

Is there a category of patches that looks roughly like this: The objects are strings in some base alphabet The morphisms are edit scripts ("diffs" or "patches") between the strings I'm interested in ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

A mathematical (categorical) description of type classes

A functional language can be viewed as a category where its objects are types and morphisms functions between them. How do type classes fit in this model? I assume we should only consider those ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Full Completeness vs Full Abstraction of a program translation

Compiler verification efforts often come down to proving the compiler fully abstract: that it preserves and reflects (contextual) equivalences. Instead of providing full abstraction proofs, some ...
15
votes
2answers
422 views

Proof theory of biproducts?

A category has biproducts when the same objects are both the products and coproducts. Has anyone investigated the proof theory of categories with biproducts? Perhaps the best-known example is the ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Proof relevance vs. proof irrelevance

I want to use use Agda to help me write proofs, but I am getting contradictory feedback about the value of proof relevance. Jacques Carette wrote a Proof-relevant Category Theory in Agda library. But ...
13
votes
3answers
625 views

Uses of $\infty$-categories in TCS

I'm not a theoretical computer scientist. I'm a stable homotopy theorist using $\infty$-categories. I've seen applications of category theory and topos theory to theoretical computer science, and I ...
13
votes
2answers
566 views

Category theory and parsers — references wanted

Since I'm interested in parsers (mainly in parser expression grammars), I'm wondering if there's some work that gives a categorical treatment of parsing. Any reference on applications of category ...
12
votes
4answers
545 views

What are the uses of Limits and Colimits of Category Theory in every day problems?

I am interested in knowing how we can use the concepts of Limits and Colimits in modeling problems in every day life? Could anyone provide (Software) engineering examples, perhaps? Or describe ...
12
votes
2answers
495 views

Are there knot theoretic formulations of NP complete problems?

Are there NP complete(or even NP-hard, or NP) problems that have good topological properties to study. Do NP problems have knot theoretic formulations? We know about #$P$ results about the Jones ...
12
votes
2answers
465 views

Is there such a thing as a weak coalgebra homomorphism?

Given an endofunctor $F : Set \rightarrow Set$, we can define observation functions as functions that are polymorphic for any $F$-coalgebra, that is $obs$ is defined for any $F$-coalgebra $\langle A, ...
12
votes
1answer
373 views

When do coherence spaces have pullbacks and pushouts?

$\newcommand{\symp}{\Bumpeq}$ A coherence relation $\symp_X$ on a set $X$ is a reflexive and symmetric relation. A coherence space is a pair $(X, \symp_X)$, and a morphism $f : X \to Y$ between ...
12
votes
1answer
392 views

Algebraically Compact Categories

I read Freyd's paper "Algebraically Complete Categories" in the famous Como90 and I have two questions about the notion of algebraic compactness he defined in that paper. (If you are not familiar with ...
12
votes
0answers
213 views

Categorical semantics for S5 modal logic?

Does anyone know where I can look to find out what the generally categorical semantics of S5 is? For S4, the answer is well-known: we want a Cartesian closed category with a product-preserving ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What is a good Category Theory-Domain Theory dictionary?

When dealing with the domain theoretic categories (say CPO and $\omega$CPO), I frequently wish for a dictionary for the language of category theory in domain theory. That is, given a concept, say ...
11
votes
2answers
459 views

Implementing “Internal” Languages

One of the most practical consequences of the "Curry-Howard-Lambek" correspondence is that the syntax of many lambda-calucli/logics can be used to perform constructions in a sufficiently structured ...
11
votes
1answer
736 views

Natural Transformations and Parametricity

In Theorems for Free!, Wadler says that the characterization of parametricity can be re-expressed in terms of lax natural transformations and this will be the subject of a further paper. Which paper ...
11
votes
1answer
304 views

Why Reflexive Graphs for Parametricity?

Looking at models of parametric polymorphism, I am curious why are reflexive graph categories are used? In particular, why do they not include relational composition? In looking at the models, they ...
10
votes
3answers
555 views

Is there any known CCC closed under a probabilistic powerdomain operation?

Equivalently, is there a known denotational semantics for probabilistic higher-order functional programming languages? Specifically, is there a domain model of pure untyped $\lambda$-calculus extended ...
10
votes
2answers
423 views

Are there semi-decision procedures for this theory?

I have the following typed theory |- 1_X : X -> X f : A -> B, g : B -> C |- compose(g,f) : A -> C F, f : A -> B |- apply(F,f) : F(A) -> F(B) ...
10
votes
1answer
167 views

Relating univalence for a theory of cateogries to the skeleton concept

Say I work in homotopy type theory and my sole objects of study are conventional categories. Equivalences here are given by functors $F:{\bf D}\longrightarrow{\bf C}$ and $G:{\bf C}\longrightarrow{\...
10
votes
0answers
150 views

Do Banach spaces and linear contraction maps form a model of ILL with an exponential?

Recently, I read on the nLab that the category of Banach spaces and linear contractions is small complete, small cocomplete, and monoidal closed. This means that Banach spaces and short linear maps ...
9
votes
4answers
905 views

Explaining monad transformers in categorical terms

Most resource regarding categorical notions in programming describe monads, but I've never seen a categorical description of monad transformers. How could monad transformers be described in the terms ...
9
votes
2answers
253 views

Closure ordinals for inductive types with function spaces

Functors built from finite products and sums have closure ordinal $\omega$, detailed nicely in this manuscript by Francois Metayer. i.e. we can reach the inductive type $nat := \mu X. 1 + X$ by ...
9
votes
1answer
772 views

Hyperdoctrines and Monadic Second Order Logic

This question is essentially the question I asked on Mathoverflow. Monadic Second Order (MSO) logic is second order logic with quantification over unary predicates. That is, quantification over sets. ...
8
votes
1answer
304 views

A bicartesian closed category of strict complete partial orders (Hask)

It seems to be well-known that programming languages can't have sums, products and nontermination together. Q1. Is this true? Below (or in the above link I gave) is a partial argument. However, ...
8
votes
3answers
869 views

Categories a computer scientist should know about

I am a computer scientist with a CS degree from the 80's. I am learning category theory by myself. I am looking for advice about learning category theory. E.g. it is quite helpful in learning category ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What kind of theoretical object corresponds to a C++ concept?

I am lacking a background in theoretical computer science but I would have liked to understand to what kind of theoretical objects C++ concepts corresponds to. Basically, C++ concepts allow to define ...
8
votes
2answers
357 views

Categorical semantics for non-monotonic logics?

Are there any categorical semantics for non-monotonic logics? It appears that the simple answer to this is "No" since the obvious notion of composition fails for any model of a non-monotonic logic. ...
8
votes
1answer
144 views

Understanding the Beck-Chevalley Condition

I've been reading through Bart Jacobs' "Categorical Logic and Type Theory", and lemma 1.8.9 has me stumped. The lemma is stated as follows: Let $p : \mathbb E \to \mathbb B$ and $q : \mathbb D \to \...
8
votes
1answer
119 views

“Interesting” categories whose internal logic is a dependent-linear type theory

Dependent-linear type theories may be a functional programmer's dream, but is it categorically interesting, i.e. is it the internal language of an "interesting" category? By "...