Comonads


In the last couple posts I've used some 'free' constructions, and not remarked too much on how they arise. In this post, I'd like to explore them more. This is going to be something of a departure from the previous posts, though, since I'm not going to worry about thinking precisely about bottom/domains. This is more an exercise in applying some category theory to Haskell, "fast and loose".

(Advance note: for some continuous code to look at see this file.)

First, it'll help to talk about how some categories can work in Haskell. For any kind k made of * and (->), [0] we can define a category of type constructors. Objects of the category will be first-class [1] types of that kind, and arrows will be defined by the following type family:

 
newtype Transformer f g = Transform { ($$) :: forall i. f i ~> g i }
 
type family (~>) :: k -> k -> * where
  (~>) = (->)
  (~>) = Transformer
 
type a < -> b = (a -> b, b -> a)
type a < ~> b = (a ~> b, b ~> a)
 

So, for a base case, * has monomorphic functions as arrows, and categories for higher kinds have polymorphic functions that saturate the constructor:

 
  Int ~> Char = Int -> Char
  Maybe ~> [] = forall a. Maybe a -> [a]
  Either ~> (,) = forall a b. Either a b -> (a, b)
  StateT ~> ReaderT = forall s m a. StateT s m a -> ReaderT s m a
 

We can of course define identity and composition for these, and it will be handy to do so:

 
class Morph (p :: k -> k -> *) where
  id :: p a a
  (.) :: p b c -> p a b -> p a c
 
instance Morph (->) where
  id x = x
  (g . f) x = g (f x)
 
instance Morph ((~>) :: k -> k -> *)
      => Morph (Transformer :: (i -> k) -> (i -> k) -> *) where
  id = Transform id
  Transform f . Transform g = Transform $ f . g
 

These categories can be looked upon as the most basic substrates in Haskell. For instance, every type of kind * -> * is an object of the relevant category, even if it's a GADT or has other structure that prevents it from being nicely functorial.

The category for * is of course just the normal category of types and functions we usually call Hask, and it is fairly analogous to the category of sets. One common activity in category theory is to study categories of sets equipped with extra structure, and it turns out we can do this in Haskell, as well. And it even makes some sense to study categories of structures over any of these type categories.

When we equip our types with structure, we often use type classes, so that's how I'll do things here. Classes have a special status socially in that we expect people to only define instances that adhere to certain equational rules. This will take the place of equations that we are not able to state in the Haskell type system, because it doesn't have dependent types. So using classes will allow us to define more structures that we normally would, if only by convention.

So, if we have a kind k, then a corresponding structure will be σ :: k -> Constraint. We can then define the category (k,σ) as having objects t :: k such that there is an instance σ t. Arrows are then taken to be f :: t ~> u such that f "respects" the operations of σ.

As a simple example, we have:

 
  k = *
  σ = Monoid :: * -> Constraint
 
  Sum Integer, Product Integer, [Integer] :: (*, Monoid)
 
  f :: (Monoid m, Monoid n) => m -> n
    if f mempty = mempty
       f (m <> n) = f m <> f n
 

This is just the category of monoids in Haskell.

As a side note, we will sometimes be wanting to quantify over these "categories of structures". There isn't really a good way to package together a kind and a structure such that they work as a unit, but we can just add a constraint to the quantification. So, to quantify over all Monoids, we'll use 'forall m. Monoid m => ...'.

Now, once we have these categories of structures, there is an obvious forgetful functor back into the unadorned category. We can then look for free and cofree functors as adjoints to this. More symbolically:

 
  Forget σ :: (k,σ) -> k
  Free   σ :: k -> (k,σ)
  Cofree σ :: k -> (k,σ)
 
  Free σ ⊣ Forget σ ⊣ Cofree σ
 

However, what would be nicer (for some purposes) than having to look for these is being able to construct them all systematically, without having to think much about the structure σ.

Category theory gives a hint at this, too, in the form of Kan extensions. In category terms they look like:

  p : C -> C'
  f : C -> D
  Ran p f : C' -> D
  Lan p f : C' -> D

  Ran p f c' = end (c : C). Hom_C'(c', p c) ⇒ f c
  Lan p f c' = coend (c : c). Hom_C'(p c, c') ⊗ f c

where is a "power" and is a copower, which are like being able to take exponentials and products by sets (or whatever the objects of the hom category are), instead of other objects within the category. Ends and coends are like universal and existential quantifiers (as are limits and colimits, but ends and coends involve mixed-variance).

Some handy theorems relate Kan extensions and adjoint functors:

  if L ⊣ R
  then L = Ran R Id and R = Lan L Id

  if Ran R Id exists and is absolute
  then Ran R Id ⊣ R

  if Lan L Id exists and is absolute
  then L ⊣ Lan L Id

  Kan P F is absolute iff forall G. (G . Kan P F) ~= Kan P (G . F)

It turns out we can write down Kan extensions fairly generally in Haskell. Our restricted case is:

 
  p = Forget σ :: (k,σ) -> k
  f = Id :: (k,σ) -> (k,σ)
 
  Free   σ = Ran (Forget σ) Id :: k -> (k,σ)
  Cofree σ = Lan (Forget σ) Id :: k -> (k,σ)
 
  g :: (k,σ) -> j
  g . Free   σ = Ran (Forget σ) g
  g . Cofree σ = Lan (Forget σ) g
 

As long as the final category is like one of our type constructor categories, ends are universal quantifiers, powers are function types, coends are existential quantifiers and copowers are product spaces. This only breaks down for our purposes when g is contravariant, in which case they are flipped. For higher kinds, these constructions occur point-wise. So, we can break things down into four general cases, each with cases for each arity:

 
newtype Ran0 σ p (f :: k -> *) a =
  Ran0 { ran0 :: forall r. σ r => (a ~> p r) -> f r }
 
newtype Ran1 σ p (f :: k -> j -> *) a b =
  Ran1 { ran1 :: forall r. σ r => (a ~> p r) -> f r b }
 
-- ...
 
data RanOp0 σ p (f :: k -> *) a =
  forall e. σ e => RanOp0 (a ~> p e) (f e)
 
-- ...
 
data Lan0 σ p (f :: k -> *) a =
  forall e. σ e => Lan0 (p e ~> a) (f e)
 
data Lan1 σ p (f :: k -> j -> *) a b =
  forall e. σ e => Lan1 (p e ~> a) (f e b)
 
-- ...
 
data LanOp0 σ p (f :: k -> *) a =
  LanOp0 { lan0 :: forall r. σ r => (p r -> a) -> f r }
 
-- ...
 

The more specific proposed (co)free definitions are:

 
type family Free   :: (k -> Constraint) -> k -> k
type family Cofree :: (k -> Constraint) -> k -> k
 
newtype Free0 σ a = Free0 { gratis0 :: forall r. σ r => (a ~> r) -> r }
type instance Free = Free0
 
newtype Free1 σ f a = Free1 { gratis1 :: forall g. σ g => (f ~> g) -> g a }
type instance Free = Free1
 
-- ...
 
data Cofree0 σ a = forall e. σ e => Cofree0 (e ~> a) e
type instance Cofree = Cofree0
 
data Cofree1 σ f a = forall g. σ g => Cofree1 (g ~> f) (g a)
type instance Cofree = Cofree1
 
-- ...
 

We can define some handly classes and instances for working with these types, several of which generalize existing Haskell concepts:

 
class Covariant (f :: i -> j) where
  comap :: (a ~> b) -> (f a ~> f b)
 
class Contravariant f where
  contramap :: (b ~> a) -> (f a ~> f b)
 
class Covariant m => Monad (m :: i -> i) where
  pure :: a ~> m a
  join :: m (m a) ~> m a
 
class Covariant w => Comonad (w :: i -> i) where
  extract :: w a ~> a
  split :: w a ~> w (w a)
 
class Couniversal σ f | f -> σ where
  couniversal :: σ r => (a ~> r) -> (f a ~> r)
 
class Universal σ f | f -> σ where
  universal :: σ e => (e ~> a) -> (e ~> f a)
 
instance Covariant (Free0 σ) where
  comap f (Free0 e) = Free0 (e . (.f))
 
instance Monad (Free0 σ) where
  pure x = Free0 $ \k -> k x
  join (Free0 e) = Free0 $ \k -> e $ \(Free0 e) -> e k
 
instance Couniversal σ (Free0 σ) where
  couniversal h (Free0 e) = e h
 
-- ...
 

The only unfamiliar classes here should be (Co)Universal. They are for witnessing the adjunctions that make Free σ the initial σ and Cofree σ the final σ in the relevant way. Only one direction is given, since the opposite is very easy to construct with the (co)monad structure.

Free σ is a monad and couniversal, Cofree σ is a comonad and universal.

We can now try to convince ourselves that Free σ and Cofree σ are absolute Here are some examples:

 
free0Absolute0 :: forall g σ a. (Covariant g, σ (Free σ a))
               => g (Free0 σ a) < -> Ran σ Forget g a
free0Absolute0 = (l, r)
 where
 l :: g (Free σ a) -> Ran σ Forget g a
 l g = Ran0 $ \k -> comap (couniversal $ remember0 . k) g
 
 r :: Ran σ Forget g a -> g (Free σ a)
 r (Ran0 e) = e $ Forget0 . pure
 
free0Absolute1 :: forall (g :: * -> * -> *) σ a x. (Covariant g, σ (Free σ a))
               => g (Free0 σ a) x < -> Ran σ Forget g a x
free0Absolute1 = (l, r)
 where
 l :: g (Free σ a) x -> Ran σ Forget g a x
 l g = Ran1 $ \k -> comap (couniversal $ remember0 . k) $$ g
 
 r :: Ran σ Forget g a x -> g (Free σ a) x
 r (Ran1 e) = e $ Forget0 . pure
 
free0Absolute0Op :: forall g σ a. (Contravariant g, σ (Free σ a))
                 => g (Free0 σ a) < -> RanOp σ Forget g a
free0Absolute0Op = (l, r)
 where
 l :: g (Free σ a) -> RanOp σ Forget g a
 l = RanOp0 $ Forget0 . pure
 
 r :: RanOp σ Forget g a -> g (Free σ a)
 r (RanOp0 h g) = contramap (couniversal $ remember0 . h) g
 
-- ...
 

As can be seen, the definitions share a lot of structure. I'm quite confident that with the right building blocks these could be defined once for each of the four types of Kan extensions, with types like:

 
freeAbsolute
  :: forall g σ a. (Covariant g, σ (Free σ a))
  => g (Free σ a) < ~> Ran σ Forget g a
 
cofreeAbsolute
  :: forall g σ a. (Covariant g, σ (Cofree σ a))
  => g (Cofree σ a) < ~> Lan σ Forget g a
 
freeAbsoluteOp
  :: forall g σ a. (Contravariant g, σ (Free σ a))
  => g (Free σ a) < ~> RanOp σ Forget g a
 
cofreeAbsoluteOp
  :: forall g σ a. (Contravariant g, σ (Cofree σ a))
  => g (Cofree σ a) < ~> LanOp σ Forget g a
 

However, it seems quite difficult to structure things in a way such that GHC will accept the definitions. I've successfully written freeAbsolute using some axioms, but turning those axioms into class definitions and the like seems impossible.

Anyhow, the punchline is that we can prove absoluteness using only the premise that there is a valid σ instance for Free σ and Cofree σ. This tends to be quite easy; we just borrow the structure of the type we are quantifying over. This means that in all these cases, we are justified in saying that Free σ ⊣ Forget σ ⊣ Cofree σ, and we have a very generic presentations of (co)free structures in Haskell. So let's look at some.

We've already seen Free Monoid, and last time we talked about Free Applicative, and its relation to traversals. But, Applicative is to traversal as Functor is to lens, so it may be interesting to consider constructions on that. Both Free Functor and Cofree Functor make Functors:

 
instance Functor (Free1 Functor f) where
  fmap f (Free1 e) = Free1 $ fmap f . e
 
instance Functor (Cofree1 Functor f) where
  fmap f (Cofree1 h e) = Cofree1 h (fmap f e)
 

And of course, they are (co)monads, covariant functors and (co)universal among Functors. But, it happens that I know some other types with these properties:

 
data CoYo f a = forall e. CoYo (e -> a) (f e)
 
instance Covariant CoYo where
  comap f = Transform $ \(CoYo h e) -> CoYo h (f $$ e)
 
instance Monad CoYo where
  pure = Transform $ CoYo id
  join = Transform $ \(CoYo h (CoYo h' e)) -> CoYo (h . h') e
 
instance Functor (CoYo f) where
  fmap f (CoYo h e) = CoYo (f . h) e
 
instance Couniversal Functor CoYo where
  couniversal tr = Transform $ \(CoYo h e) -> fmap h (tr $$ e)
 
newtype Yo f a = Yo { oy :: forall r. (a -> r) -> f r }
 
instance Covariant Yo where
  comap f = Transform $ \(Yo e) -> Yo $ (f $$) . e
 
instance Comonad Yo where
  extract = Transform $ \(Yo e) -> e id
  split = Transform $ \(Yo e) -> Yo $ \k -> Yo $ \k' -> e $ k' . k
 
instance Functor (Yo f) where
  fmap f (Yo e) = Yo $ \k -> e (k . f)
 
instance Universal Functor Yo where
  universal tr = Transform $ \e -> Yo $ \k -> tr $$ fmap k e
 

These are the types involved in the (co-)Yoneda lemma. CoYo is a monad, couniversal among functors, and CoYo f is a Functor. Yo is a comonad, universal among functors, and is always a Functor. So, are these equivalent types?

 
coyoIso :: CoYo < ~> Free Functor
coyoIso = (Transform $ couniversal pure, Transform $ couniversal pure)
 
yoIso :: Yo < ~> Cofree Functor
yoIso = (Transform $ universal extract, Transform $ universal extract)
 

Indeed they are. And similar identities hold for the contravariant versions of these constructions.

I don't have much of a use for this last example. I suppose to be perfectly precise, I should point out that these uses of (Co)Yo are not actually part of the (co-)Yoneda lemma. They are two different constructions. The (co-)Yoneda lemma can be given in terms of Kan extensions as:

 
yoneda :: Ran Id f < ~> f
 
coyoneda :: Lan Id f < ~> f
 

But, the use of (Co)Yo to make Functors out of things that aren't necessarily is properly thought of in other terms. In short, we have some kind of category of Haskell types with only identity arrows---it is discrete. Then any type constructor, even non-functorial ones, is certainly a functor from said category (call it Haskrete) into the normal one (Hask). And there is an inclusion functor from Haskrete into Hask:

             F
 Haskrete -----> Hask
      |        /|
      |       /
      |      /
Incl  |     /
      |    /  Ran/Lan Incl F
      |   /
      |  /
      v /
    Hask

So, (Co)Free Functor can also be thought of in terms of these Kan extensions involving the discrete category.

To see more fleshed out, loadable versions of the code in this post, see this file. I may also try a similar Agda development at a later date, as it may admit the more general absoluteness constructions easier.

[0]: The reason for restricting ourselves to kinds involving only * and (->) is that they work much more simply than data kinds. Haskell values can't depend on type-level entities without using type classes. For *, this is natural, but for something like Bool -> *, it is more natural for transformations to be able to inspect the booleans, and so should be something more like forall b. InspectBool b => f b -> g b.

[1]: First-class types are what you get by removing type families and synonyms from consideration. The reason for doing so is that these can't be used properly as parameters and the like, except in cases where they reduce to some other type that is first-class. For example, if we define:

 
type I a = a
 

even though GHC will report I :: * -> *, it is not legal to write Transform I I.

Last time I looked at free monoids, and noticed that in Haskell lists don't really cut it. This is a consequence of laziness and general recursion. To model a language with those properties, one needs to use domains and monotone, continuous maps, rather than sets and total functions (a call-by-value language with general recursion would use domains and strict maps instead).

This time I'd like to talk about some other examples of this, and point out how doing so can (perhaps) resolve some disagreements that people have about the specific cases.

The first example is not one that I came up with: induction. It's sometimes said that Haskell does not have inductive types at all, or that we cannot reason about functions on its data types by induction. However, I think this is (techincally) inaccurate. What's true is that we cannot simply pretend that that our types are sets and use the induction principles for sets to reason about Haskell programs. Instead, one has to figure out what inductive domains would be, and what their proof principles are.

Fortunately, there are some papers about doing this. The most recent (that I'm aware of) is Generic Fibrational Induction. I won't get too into the details, but it shows how one can talk about induction in a general setting, where one has a category that roughly corresponds to the type theory/programming language, and a second category of proofs that is 'indexed' by the first category's objects. Importantly, it is not required that the second category is somehow 'part of' the type theory being reasoned about, as is often the case with dependent types, although that is also a special case of their construction.

One of the results of the paper is that this framework can be used to talk about induction principles for types that don't make sense as sets. Specifically:

 
newtype Hyp = Hyp ((Hyp -> Int) -> Int)
 

the type of "hyperfunctions". Instead of interpreting this type as a set, where it would effectively require a set that is isomorphic to the power set of its power set, they interpret it in the category of domains and strict functions mentioned earlier. They then construct the proof category in a similar way as one would for sets, except instead of talking about predicates as subsets, we talk about sub-domains instead. Once this is done, their framework gives a notion of induction for this type.

This example is suitable for ML (and suchlike), due to the strict functions, and sort of breaks the idea that we can really get away with only thinking about sets, even there. Sets are good enough for some simple examples (like flat domains where we don't care about ⊥), but in general we have to generalize induction itself to apply to all types in the 'good' language.

While I haven't worked out how the generic induction would work out for Haskell, I have little doubt that it would, because ML actually contains all of Haskell's data types (and vice versa). So the fact that the framework gives meaning to induction for ML implies that it does so for Haskell. If one wants to know what induction for Haskell's 'lazy naturals' looks like, they can study the ML analogue of:

 
data LNat = Zero | Succ (() -> LNat)
 

because function spaces lift their codomain, and make things 'lazy'.

----

The other example I'd like to talk about hearkens back to the previous article. I explained how foldMap is the proper fundamental method of the Foldable class, because it can be massaged to look like:

 
foldMap :: Foldable f => f a -> FreeMonoid a
 

and lists are not the free monoid, because they do not work properly for various infinite cases.

I also mentioned that foldMap looks a lot like traverse:

 
foldMap  :: (Foldable t   , Monoid m)      => (a -> m)   -> t a -> m
traverse :: (Traversable t, Applicative f) => (a -> f b) -> t a -> f (t b)
 

And of course, we have Monoid m => Applicative (Const m), and the functions are expected to agree in this way when applicable.

Now, people like to get in arguments about whether traversals are allowed to be infinite. I know Ed Kmett likes to argue that they can be, because he has lots of examples. But, not everyone agrees, and especially people who have papers proving things about traversals tend to side with the finite-only side. I've heard this includes one of the inventors of Traversable, Conor McBride.

In my opinion, the above disagreement is just another example of a situation where we have a generic notion instantiated in two different ways, and intuition about one does not quite transfer to the other. If you are working in a language like Agda or Coq (for proving), you will be thinking about traversals in the context of sets and total functions. And there, traversals are finite. But in Haskell, there are infinitary cases to consider, and they should work out all right when thinking about domains instead of sets. But I should probably put forward some argument for this position (and even if I don't need to, it leads somewhere else interesting).

One example that people like to give about finitary traversals is that they can be done via lists. Given a finite traversal, we can traverse to get the elements (using Const [a]), traverse the list, then put them back where we got them by traversing again (using State [a]). Usually when you see this, though, there's some subtle cheating in relying on the list to be exactly the right length for the second traversal. It will be, because we got it from a traversal of the same structure, but I would expect that proving the function is actually total to be a lot of work. Thus, I'll use this as an excuse to do my own cheating later.

Now, the above uses lists, but why are we using lists when we're in Haskell? We know they're deficient in certain ways. It turns out that we can give a lot of the same relevant structure to the better free monoid type:

 
newtype FM a = FM (forall m. Monoid m => (a -> m) -> m) deriving (Functor)
 
instance Applicative FM where
  pure x = FM ($ x)
  FM ef < *> FM ex = FM $ \k -> ef $ \f -> ex $ \x -> k (f x)
 
instance Monoid (FM a) where
  mempty = FM $ \_ -> mempty
  mappend (FM l) (FM r) = FM $ \k -> l k <> r k
 
instance Foldable FM where
  foldMap f (FM e) = e f
 
newtype Ap f b = Ap { unAp :: f b }
 
instance (Applicative f, Monoid b) => Monoid (Ap f b) where
  mempty = Ap $ pure mempty
  mappend (Ap l) (Ap r) = Ap $ (<>) < $> l < *> r
 
instance Traversable FM where
  traverse f (FM e) = unAp . e $ Ap . fmap pure . f
 

So, free monoids are Monoids (of course), Foldable, and even Traversable. At least, we can define something with the right type that wouldn't bother anyone if it were written in a total language with the right features, but in Haskell it happens to allow various infinite things that people don't like.

Now it's time to cheat. First, let's define a function that can take any Traversable to our free monoid:

 
toFreeMonoid :: Traversable t => t a -> FM a
toFreeMonoid f = FM $ \k -> getConst $ traverse (Const . k) f
 

Now let's define a Monoid that's not a monoid:

 
data Cheat a = Empty | Single a | Append (Cheat a) (Cheat a)
 
instance Monoid (Cheat a) where
  mempty = Empty
  mappend = Append
 

You may recognize this as the data version of the free monoid from the previous article, where we get the real free monoid by taking a quotient. using this, we can define an Applicative that's not valid:

 
newtype Cheating b a =
  Cheating { prosper :: Cheat b -> a } deriving (Functor)
 
instance Applicative (Cheating b) where
  pure x = Cheating $ \_ -> x
 
  Cheating f < *> Cheating x = Cheating $ \c -> case c of
    Append l r -> f l (x r)
 

Given these building blocks, we can define a function to relabel a traversable using a free monoid:

 
relabel :: Traversable t => t a -> FM b -> t b
relabel t (FM m) = propser (traverse (const hope) t) (m Single)
 where
 hope = Cheating $ \c -> case c of
   Single x -> x
 

And we can implement any traversal by taking a trip through the free monoid:

 
slowTraverse
  :: (Applicative f, Traversable t) => (a -> f b) -> t a -> f (t b)
slowTraverse f t = fmap (relabel t) . traverse f . toFreeMonoid $ t
 

And since we got our free monoid via traversing, all the partiality I hid in the above won't blow up in practice, rather like the case with lists and finite traversals.

Arguably, this is worse cheating. It relies on the exact association structure to work out, rather than just number of elements. The reason is that for infinitary cases, you cannot flatten things out, and there's really no way to detect when you have something infinitary. The finitary traversals have the luxury of being able to reassociate everything to a canonical form, while the infinite cases force us to not do any reassociating at all. So this might be somewhat unsatisfying.

But, what if we didn't have to cheat at all? We can get the free monoid by tweaking foldMap, and it looks like traverse, so what happens if we do the same manipulation to the latter?

It turns out that lens has a type for this purpose, a slight specialization of which is:

 
newtype Bazaar a b t =
  Bazaar { runBazaar :: forall f. Applicative f => (a -> f b) -> f t }
 

Using this type, we can reorder traverse to get:

 
howBizarre :: Traversable t => t a -> Bazaar a b (t b)
howBizarre t = Bazaar $ \k -> traverse k t
 

But now, what do we do with this? And what even is it? [1]

If we continue drawing on intuition from Foldable, we know that foldMap is related to the free monoid. Traversable has more indexing, and instead of Monoid uses Applicative. But the latter are actually related to the former; Applicatives are monoidal (closed) functors. And it turns out, Bazaar has to do with free Applicatives.

If we want to construct free Applicatives, we can use our universal property encoding trick:

 
newtype Free p f a =
  Free { gratis :: forall g. p g => (forall x. f x -> g x) -> g a }
 

This is a higher-order version of the free p, where we parameterize over the constraint we want to use to represent structures. So Free Applicative f is the free Applicative over a type constructor f. I'll leave the instances as an exercise.

Since free monoid is a monad, we'd expect Free p to be a monad, too. In this case, it is a McBride style indexed monad, as seen in The Kleisli Arrows of Outrageous Fortune.

 
type f ~> g = forall x. f x -> g x
 
embed :: f ~> Free p f
embed fx = Free $ \k -> k fx
 
translate :: (f ~> g) -> Free p f ~> Free p g
translate tr (Free e) = Free $ \k -> e (k . tr)
 
collapse :: Free p (Free p f) ~> Free p f
collapse (Free e) = Free $ \k -> e $ \(Free e') -> e' k
 

That paper explains how these are related to Atkey style indexed monads:

 
data At key i j where
  At :: key -> At key i i
 
type Atkey m i j a = m (At a j) i
 
ireturn :: IMonad m => a -> Atkey m i i a
ireturn = ...
 
ibind :: IMonad m => Atkey m i j a -> (a -> Atkey m j k b) -> Atkey m i k b
ibind = ...
 

It turns out, Bazaar is exactly the Atkey indexed monad derived from the Free Applicative indexed monad (with some arguments shuffled) [2]:

 
hence :: Bazaar a b t -> Atkey (Free Applicative) t b a
hence bz = Free $ \tr -> runBazaar bz $ tr . At
 
forth :: Atkey (Free Applicative) t b a -> Bazaar a b t
forth fa = Bazaar $ \g -> gratis fa $ \(At a) -> g a
 
imap :: (a -> b) -> Bazaar a i j -> Bazaar b i j
imap f (Bazaar e) = Bazaar $ \k -> e (k . f)
 
ipure :: a -> Bazaar a i i
ipure x = Bazaar ($ x)
 
(>>>=) :: Bazaar a j i -> (a -> Bazaar b k j) -> Bazaar b k i
Bazaar e >>>= f = Bazaar $ \k -> e $ \x -> runBazaar (f x) k
 
(>==>) :: (s -> Bazaar i o t) -> (i -> Bazaar a b o) -> s -> Bazaar a b t
(f >==> g) x = f x >>>= g
 

As an aside, Bazaar is also an (Atkey) indexed comonad, and the one that characterizes traversals, similar to how indexed store characterizes lenses. A Lens s t a b is equivalent to a coalgebra s -> Store a b t. A traversal is a similar Bazaar coalgebra:

 
  s -> Bazaar a b t
    ~
  s -> forall f. Applicative f => (a -> f b) -> f t
    ~
  forall f. Applicative f => (a -> f b) -> s -> f t
 

It so happens that Kleisli composition of the Atkey indexed monad above (>==>) is traversal composition.

Anyhow, Bazaar also inherits Applicative structure from Free Applicative:

 
instance Functor (Bazaar a b) where
  fmap f (Bazaar e) = Bazaar $ \k -> fmap f (e k)
 
instance Applicative (Bazaar a b) where
  pure x = Bazaar $ \_ -> pure x
  Bazaar ef < *> Bazaar ex = Bazaar $ \k -> ef k < *> ex k
 

This is actually analogous to the Monoid instance for the free monoid; we just delegate to the underlying structure.

The more exciting thing is that we can fold and traverse over the first argument of Bazaar, just like we can with the free monoid:

 
bfoldMap :: Monoid m => (a -> m) -> Bazaar a b t -> m
bfoldMap f (Bazaar e) = getConst $ e (Const . f)
 
newtype Comp g f a = Comp { getComp :: g (f a) } deriving (Functor)
 
instance (Applicative f, Applicative g) => Applicative (Comp g f) where
  pure = Comp . pure . pure
  Comp f < *> Comp x = Comp $ liftA2 (< *>) f x
 
btraverse
  :: (Applicative f) => (a -> f a') -> Bazaar a b t -> Bazaar a' b t
btraverse f (Bazaar e) = getComp $ e (c . fmap ipure . f)
 

This is again analogous to the free monoid code. Comp is the analogue of Ap, and we use ipure in traverse. I mentioned that Bazaar is a comonad:

 
extract :: Bazaar b b t -> t
extract (Bazaar e) = runIdentity $ e Identity
 

And now we are finally prepared to not cheat:

 
honestTraverse
  :: (Applicative f, Traversable t) => (a -> f b) -> t a -> f (t b)
honestTraverse f = fmap extract . btraverse f . howBizarre
 

So, we can traverse by first turning out Traversable into some structure that's kind of like the free monoid, except having to do with Applicative, traverse that, and then pull a result back out. Bazaar retains the information that we're eventually building back the same type of structure, so we don't need any cheating.

To pull this back around to domains, there's nothing about this code to object to if done in a total language. But, if we think about our free Applicative-ish structure, in Haskell, it will naturally allow infinitary expressions composed of the Applicative operations, just like the free monoid will allow infinitary monoid expressions. And this is okay, because some Applicatives can make sense of those, so throwing them away would make the type not free, in the same way that even finite lists are not the free monoid in Haskell. And this, I think, is compelling enough to say that infinite traversals are right for Haskell, just as they are wrong for Agda.

For those who wish to see executable code for all this, I've put a files here and here. The latter also contains some extra goodies at the end that I may talk about in further installments.

[1] Truth be told, I'm not exactly sure.

[2] It turns out, you can generalize Bazaar to have a correspondence for every choice of p

 
newtype Bizarre p a b t =
  Bizarre { bizarre :: forall f. p f => (a -> f b) -> f t }
 

hence and forth above go through with the more general types. This can be seen here.

In the last few posts, I've been talking about how we can derive monads and monad transformers from comonads. Along the way we learned that there are more monads than comonads in Haskell.

The question I hope to answer this time, is whether or not we turn any Haskell Comonad into a comonad transformer.

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Last time in Monad Transformers from Comonads I showed that given any comonad we can derive the monad-transformer

 
newtype CoT w m a = CoT { runCoT :: w (a -> m r) -> m r
 

and so demonstrated that there are fewer comonads than monads in Haskell, because while every Comonad gives rise to a Monad transformer, there are Monads that do not like IO, ST s, and STM.

I want to elaborate a bit more on this topic.

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Last time, I showed that we can transform any Comonad in Haskell into a Monad in Haskell.

Today, I'll show that we can go one step further and derive a monad transformer from any comonad!

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Today I'll show that you can derive a Monad from any old Comonad you have lying around.

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Last time, I said that I was going to put our cheap new free monad to work, so let's give it a shot.

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Last night, Chung-Chieh Shan posted an example of a pointed-set monad on his blog, which happens to be isomorphic to a non-empty stream monad with a different emphasis.

But, I thought I should point out that the pointed set that he posted also has a comonadic structure, which may be exploited since it is just a variation on the "zipper comonad," a structure that is perhaps more correctly called a "pointing comonad."

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I want to spend some more time talking about Kan extensions, composition of Kan extensions, and the relationship between a monad and the monad generated by a monad.

But first, I want to take a moment to recall adjunctions and show how they relate to some standard (co)monads, before tying them back to Kan extensions.

Adjunctions 101

An adjunction between categories $\mathcal{C}$ and $\mathcal{D}$ consists of a pair of functors $F : \mathcal{C} -> \mathcal{D}$, and $G : \mathcal{D} -> \mathcal{C}$ and a natural isomorphism:

$\phi : \mathrm{Hom}_\mathcal{D} (F-, =) -> \mathrm{Hom}_\mathcal{C} (-, G=)$

We call $F$ the left adjoint functor, and $G$ the right adjoint functor and $(F,G)$ an adjoint pair, and write this relationship as $F \dashv G$

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I think I may spend a post or two talking about Kan extensions.

They appear to be black magic to Haskell programmers, but as Saunders Mac Lane said in Categories for the Working Mathematician:

All concepts are Kan extensions.

So what is a Kan extension? They come in two forms: right- and left- Kan extensions.

First I'll talk about right Kan extensions, since Haskell programmers have a better intuition for them.

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> import Control.Arrow ((|||),(&&&),left)
> newtype Mu f = InF { outF :: f (Mu f) }
 

I want to talk about a novel recursion scheme that hasn't received a lot of attention from the Haskell community and its even more obscure dual -- which is necessarily more obscure because I believe this is the first time anyone has talked about it.

Jiri Adámek, Stefan Milius and Jiri Velebil have done a lot of work on Elgot algebras. Here I'd like to translate them into Haskell, dualize them, observe that the dual can encode primitive recursion, and provide some observations.

You can kind of think an Elgot algebra as a hylomorphism that cheats.

 
> elgot :: Functor f => (f b -> b) -> (a -> Either b (f a)) -> a -> b
> elgot phi psi = h where h = (id ||| phi . fmap h) . psi
 

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Kefer asked a question in the comments of my post about (co)monadic (co)strength about Uustalu and Vene's ComonadZip class from p157 of The Essence of Dataflow Programming. The class in question is:

 
class Comonad w => ComonadZip w where
     czip :: f a -> f b -> f (a, b)
 

In response I added Control.Functor.Zip [Source] to my nascent rebundled version of category-extras, which was posted up to hackage earlier today.

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{-# OPTIONS -fglasgow-exts -fallow-undecidable-instances #-}
import Control.Monad
import Control.Monad.Identity
import Control.Arrow ((&&&), (***),(+++), (|||))
 

I want to talk about duality briefly. I don't want to go all the way to Filinski-style or Haskell is Not Not ML-style value/continuation duality, but I do want to poke a bit at the variant/record duality explified by the extensible cases used to handle variants in MLPolyR.

The need for extensible cases to handle open variants is part of the expression problem as stated by Wadler:

The goal is to define a data type by cases, where one can add new cases to the data type and new functions over the data type, without recompiling existing code, and while retaining static type safety.

One obvious trick is to use an extensible record of functions as a 'case' statement, with each field corresponding to one of the variants. To index into records you can use an extensible variant of functions to represent a field selection. In a purer form ala the Filinski or the Haskell is Not Not ML approach mentioned above, you can replace the word 'function' with continuation and everything works out.

Sweirstra recently tackled the extensible variant side of the equation with in Data types a la carte using the free monad coproduct to handle the 'variant' side of things, leaving the handling of cases to typeclasses, but we can see if we can go one better and just exploit the variant/record duality directly.

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No, this isn't some uplifting piece about deriving courage from sloth in the face of adversity.

What I want to talk about is monadic strength.

Transcribing the definition from category theory into Haskell we find that a strong monad is a functor such that there exists a morphism:

$t_{A, B} : M A * B -> M (A * B)$

with a couple of conditions on it that I'll get to later.

Currying that to get something that feels more natural to a Haskell programmer we get:

 
mstrength :: Monad m => m a -> b -> m (a,b)
 

Pardo provided us with a nice definition for that in Towards merging recursion and comonads:

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In case it wasn't obvious, I thought I should mention that Kabanov and Vene's dynamorphisms which optimize histomorphisms for dynamic programming can be expressed readily as chronomorphisms; they just use an anamorphism instead of a futumorphism.

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Back in the days of HYLO, it was common to write hylomorphisms with an additional natural transformation in them. Well, I was still coding in evil imperative languages back then, but I have it on reliable, er.. well supposition, that this is probably the case, or at least that they liked to do it back in the HYLO papers anyways.

Transcoding the category theory mumbo-jumbo into Haskell, so I can have a larger audience, we get the following 'frat combinator' -- you can blame Jules Bean from #haskell for that.

 
hyloEta :: Functor f =>
     (g b -> b) ->
     (forall a. f a -> g a) ->
     (a -> f a)
hyloEta phi eta psi = phi . eta . fmap (hyloEta phi eta psi) . psi
 

We placed eta in the middle of the argument list because it is evocative of the fact that it occurs between phi and psi, and because that seems to be where everyone else puts it.

Now, clearly, we could roll eta into phi and get the more traditional hylo where f = g. Less obviously we could roll it into psi because it is a natural transformation and so the following diagram commutes:

\bfig \square/>`>`>`>/[F(A)`F(B)`G(A)`G(B);F {[}\hspace{-0.8pt}{[}f, g{]}\hspace{-0.8pt}{]} `\eta_A`\eta_B`G {[}\hspace{-0.8pt}{[}f, g{]}\hspace{-0.8pt}{]}] \efig

This 'Hylo Shift' property (mentioned in that same paper) allows us to move the 'eta' term into the phi term or into the psi term as we see fit. Since we can move the eta term around and it adds no value to the combinator, it quietly returned to the void from whence it came. hyloEta offers us no more power than hylo, so out it goes.

So, if its dead, why talk about it?

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First, we can make the generalized hylomorphism from the other day more efficient by noting that once you inline the hylomorphism, you can see that you do 3 fmaps over the same structure, so we can fuse those together yielding:

 
g_hylo :: (Comonad w, Functor f, Monad m) =>
          (forall a. f (w a) -> w (f a)) ->
	  (forall a. m (f a) -> f (m a)) ->
	  (f (w b) -> b) ->
	  (a -> f (m a)) ->
          (a -> b)
g_hylo w m f g = extract . g_hylo' w m f g . return
 
-- | the kernel of the generalized hylomorphism
g_hylo' :: (Comonad w, Functor f, Monad m) =>
          (forall a. f (w a) -> w (f a)) ->
	  (forall a. m (f a) -> f (m a)) ->
	  (f (w b) -> b) ->
	  (a -> f (m a)) ->
          (m a -> w b)
g_hylo' w m f g =
    liftW f . w .
    fmap (duplicate . g_hylo' w m f g . join) .
    m . liftM g
 

Also, the above made me realize that most of the generalized cata/ana, etc morphisms give you a little more interesting stuff to do if you separate out the recursive part. Then you can pass it a monad built with something other than return to perform substitution on, or inspect the comonadic wrapper on the result.

Oh, and to support my earlier claim that g_hylo generalizes g_cata and g_ana here are derivations of each in terms of g_hylo.

 
g_cata :: (Functor f, Comonad w) =>
          (forall a. f (w a) -> w (f a)) ->
          (f (w a) -> a) ->
          Mu f -> a
 
g_cata k f = g_hylo k (fmap Id . runId) f (fmap Id . outF)
 
g_ana :: (Functor f, Monad m) =>
         (forall a. m (f a) -> f (m a)) ->
         (a -> f (m a)) ->
         a -> Nu f
g_ana k g = g_hylo (Id . fmap runId) k (InF . fmap runId) g
 

As an aside, histomorphisms have a dual that seems to be elided from most lists of recursion schemes: Uustalu and Vene call it a futumorphism. It basically lets you return a structure with seeds multiple levels deep rather than have to plumb 'one level at a time' through the anamorphism. While a histomorphism is a generalized catamorphism parameterized by the cofree comonad of your functor, a futumorphism is a generalized anamorphism parameterized by the free monad of your functor.

 
futu :: Functor f => (a -> f (Free f a)) -> a -> Nu f
futu f = ana ((f ||| id) . runFree) . return
 

Now, g_hylo is painfully general, so lets look at a particularly interesting choice of comonad and monad for a given functor that always have a distributive law: the cofree comonad, and the free monad of that very same functor!

This gives rise to a particular form of morphism that I haven't seem talked about in literature, which after kicking a few names around on the haskell channel we chose to call a chronomorphism because it subsumes histo- and futu- morphisms.

 
chrono :: Functor f =>
          (f (Cofree f b) -> b) ->
          (a -> f (Free f a)) ->
          a -> b
 

Unlike most of the types of these generalized recursion schemes, chrono's type is quite readable!

A chronomorphism's fold operation can 'look back' at the results it has given, and its unfold operation can 'jump forward' by returning seeds nested multiple levels deep. It relies on the fact that you always have a distributive law for the cofree comonad of your functor over the functor itself and also one for the functor over its free monad and so it works for any Functor.

You can generalize it like you generalize histomorphisms and futumorphisms, and derive ana and catamorphisms from it by noting the fact that you can fmap extract or fmap return to deal with the cofree comonad or free monad parts of the term.

Alternately, since the 'identity comonad' can be viewed as the cofree comonad of the $\perp$ Functor that maps everything to $\perp$, you can also choose to rederive generalized futumorphisms from generalized chronomorphism using the distributive law of the identity comonad.

Below you'll find source code for generalized hylo- cata- ana- histo- futu- chrono- etc... morphisms and their separated kernels.

Source Code

As an aside, Dan Doel (dolio) has started packaging these up for addition to category-extras in Hackage.

I haven't seen written up anywhere the following operator (g_hylo), defined in the spirit of generalized catamorphisms and generalized anamorphisms, which seems to follow rather naturally from the definition of both -- I'm using liftW & liftM rather than fmap to make it clear what is being lifted over what.

 
class Functor w => Comonad w where
        -- minimal definition: extend & extract or duplicate & extract
        duplicate :: w a -> w (w a)
        extend :: (w a -> b) -> w a -> w b
        extract :: w a -> a
        extend f = fmap f . duplicate
        duplicate = extend id
 
liftW :: Comonad w => (a -> b) -> w a -> w b
liftW f = extend (f . extract)
 
g_hylo :: (Comonad w, Functor f, Monad m) =>
          (forall a. f (w a) -> w (f a)) ->
          (forall a. m (f a) -> f (m a)) ->
          (f (w b) -> b) ->
          (a -> f (m a)) ->
          a -> b
g_hylo w m f g =
     extract .
     hylo (liftW f . w . fmap duplicate) (fmap join . m . liftM g)
     . return
   where
     hylo f g = f . fmap (hylo f g) . g
 

In the above, w and m are the distributive laws for the comonad and monad respectively, and hylo is a standard hylomorphism. In the style of Dave Menendez's Control.Recursion code it would be a 'refoldWith' and it can rederive a whole lot of recursion and corecursion patterns if not all of them.

Anyone?