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Title: Monad composition via preservation of algebras
Author: Parlant, Louis
ISNI:       0000 0004 9359 9031
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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Monads are a central object of category theory and constitute crucial tools for many areas of Computer Science, from semantics of computation to functional programming. An important aspect of monads is their correspondence with algebraic theories (their ‘presentation’). As demonstrated by the history of this field, composing monads is a challenging task: the literature contains numerous mistakes and features no general method. One categorical construct, named ‘distributive law’ allows this composition, but its existence is not guaranteed. This thesis addresses the question of monad composition by presenting a method for the construction of distributive laws. For this purpose, we introduce a notion of preservation of algebraic features: considering an arbitrary algebra for the theory presenting a monad S, we examine whether its structure is preserved when applying another monad T . In the case of success, it allows us to construct a distributive law and to compose our monads into T S. In order to develop a general framework, we focus on the class of monoidal monads. If T is monoidal, the algebraic operations presenting S are preserved in a canonical fashion; it remains to examine whether the equations presenting S are also preserved by T . As it turns out, the preservation of an equation depends on the layout of its variables: if each variable appears once on each side, the considered equation is automatically preserved by a monoidal monad. On the other hand, if a variable is duplicated or only appears on one side, preservation is not systematic. The main results of this thesis connect the preservation of such equations with structural properties of monads. In the case where T does not preserve an equation presenting S, our distributive law cannot be built; we provide a series of methods to slightly modify our monads and overcome this issue, and we investigate some less conventional distributive laws. Finally, we consider the presentations of both S and T and revisit our construction of distributive laws, this time with an algebraic point of view. Overall, this thesis presents a general approach to the problem of monad composition by relating categorical properties of monads with preservation of algebras.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available