Categories, types, and structures. Introduction to category theory for computer scientists


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Electronically Available Books and Other Sources (mainly Category Theory)

Why should one want to do this? Consider the duality between an action and an observation. Different observations or at least their order in time don't interfere with each other outside of quantum mechanics , but this is not necessarily true for different actions.

The engrained prejudices about logic embedded in set theory make it hard to model actions, compared to modeling observations. I'm not convinced that there really is a perfect correspondence between category theory and type theory like claimed here :. By a syntax-semantics duality one may view type theory as a formal syntactic language or calculus for category theory, and conversely one may think of category theory as providing semantics for type theory.

It is true that category theory can provide semantics for type theory which can be really useful , but I doubt that type theory really provides a sufficiently powerful formal syntactic language to express all the calculations done in category theory. In practice, the usefulness of category theory can arise by suggesting useful questions and analogies. But category theory can also suggest activities and questions which in the end turn out to be just a distraction waste of time from the really important issues.

And you certainly can learn logic and type theory without caring about category theory. Sign up to join this community.

Category theory - Wikiversity

The best answers are voted up and rise to the top. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Reference request: Category theory as it applies to type systems Ask Question.

Asked 2 years, 11 months ago. Active 2 years, 11 months ago.

Viewed times. I guess my question is actually two-fold: Is category theory essential for understanding the "deep concepts" in PL? What's a source that explains category theory from the viewpoint of practical applications to type systems and programming? But question 1. It is rather a request for clarification and explanation. I guess question 2. You can ask question 1, then depending on the answers you get, decide whether to ask question 2 separately.

That often makes things go more smoothly.

ISBN 13: 9780262011259

It might be hard to judge — is that what you mean? It still might turn out that it is definitely essential or definitely not essential, right? Catamorphisms and related concepts, categorical approach to functional programming, categorical programming. Many materials cited here refer to category theory, so as an introduction to this discipline see the See also section. Jump to: navigation , search. Categories : Theoretical foundations Mathematics.

Navigation menu Personal tools Log in. Namespaces Page Discussion. Views Read View source View history. Virtually every branch of modern mathematics can be described in terms of categories, and doing so often reveals deep insights and similarities between seemingly different areas of mathematics. As such, category theory provides an alternative foundation for mathematics to set theory and other proposed axiomatic foundations. In general, the objects and arrows may be abstract entities of any kind, and the notion of category provides a fundamental and abstract way to describe mathematical entities and their relationships.

In addition to formalizing mathematics, category theory is also used to formalize many other systems in computer science, such as the semantics of programming languages. Two categories are the same if they have the same collection of objects, the same collection of arrows, and the same associative method of composing any pair of arrows.

1. Basic Constructions

Two different categories may also be considered " equivalent " for purposes of category theory, even if they do not have precisely the same structure. Well-known categories are denoted by a short capitalized word or abbreviation in bold or italics: examples include Set , the category of sets and set functions ; Ring , the category of rings and ring homomorphisms ; and Top , the category of topological spaces and continuous maps.

All of the preceding categories have the identity map as identity arrows and composition as the associative operation on arrows.

The classic and still much used text on category theory is Categories for the Working Mathematician by Saunders Mac Lane. Other references are given in the References below. The basic definitions in this article are contained within the first few chapters of any of these books. Any monoid can be understood as a special sort of category with a single object whose self-morphisms are represented by the elements of the monoid , and so can any preorder.

There are many equivalent definitions of a category.


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A category C consists of. From these axioms, one can prove that there is exactly one identity morphism for every object. Some authors use a slight variation of the definition in which each object is identified with the corresponding identity morphism. A category C is called small if both ob C and hom C are actually sets and not proper classes , and large otherwise.

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A locally small category is a category such that for all objects a and b , the hom-class hom a , b is a set, called a homset. Many important categories in mathematics such as the category of sets , although not small, are at least locally small. Since, in small categories, the objects form a set, a small category can be viewed as an algebraic structure similar to a group but without requiring inverse or closure properties. Large categories on the other hand can be used to create "structures" of algebraic structures. The class of all sets as objects together with all functions between them as morphisms , where the composition of morphisms is the usual function composition , forms a large category, Set.


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  6. It is the most basic and the most commonly used category in mathematics. The category Rel consists of all sets as objects with binary relations between them as morphisms. Abstracting from relations instead of functions yields allegories , a special class of categories.

    Categories, types, and structures. Introduction to category theory for computer scientists Categories, types, and structures. Introduction to category theory for computer scientists
    Categories, types, and structures. Introduction to category theory for computer scientists Categories, types, and structures. Introduction to category theory for computer scientists
    Categories, types, and structures. Introduction to category theory for computer scientists Categories, types, and structures. Introduction to category theory for computer scientists
    Categories, types, and structures. Introduction to category theory for computer scientists Categories, types, and structures. Introduction to category theory for computer scientists
    Categories, types, and structures. Introduction to category theory for computer scientists Categories, types, and structures. Introduction to category theory for computer scientists
    Categories, types, and structures. Introduction to category theory for computer scientists Categories, types, and structures. Introduction to category theory for computer scientists
    Categories, types, and structures. Introduction to category theory for computer scientists Categories, types, and structures. Introduction to category theory for computer scientists

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