Datatype Laws Without Signatures

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Fokkinga, Maarten M. (1996) Datatype Laws Without Signatures. Mathematical Structures in Computer Science, 6 (1). pp. 1-32. ISSN 0960-1295

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Abstract:Using the well-known categorical notion of `functor' one may define the concept of datatype (algebra) without being forced to introduce a signature, that is, names and typings for the individual sorts (types) and operations involved. This has proved to be advantageous for those theory developments where one is not interested in the syntactic appearance of an algebra. The categorical notion of `transformer' developed in this paper allows the same approach to laws: without using signatures one can define the concept of law for datatypes (lawful algebras), and investigate the equational specification of datatypes in a syntax-free way. A transformer is a special kind of functor and also a natural transformation on the level of dialgebras. Transformers are quite expressive, satisfy several closure properties, and are related to naturality and Wadler's Theorems For Free. In fact, any colimit is an initial lawful algebra.
Item Type:Article
Copyright:© 1996 Cambridge University Press
Faculty:
Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
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Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/publications/66234
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0960129500000852
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