Recently, Sean Leather took up the idea of incremental folds. [1] [2]. At the end of his first article on the topic he made a comment on how this was a useful design pattern and sagely noted the advice of Jeremy Gibbons that design patterns are more effective as programs, while complaining of cut and paste coding issues.

The following attempts to address these concerns.


> 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


I did some digging and found the universal operations mentioned in the last couple of posts: unzip, unbizip and counzip were referenced as abide${}_F$, abide${}_\dagger$ and coabide${}_F$ -- actually, I was looking for something else, and this fell into my lap.

They were apparently named for a notion defined by Richard Bird back in:

R.S. Bird. Lecture notes on constructive functional programming. In M. Broy, editor, Constructive Methods in Computing Science. International Summer School directed by F.L. Bauer [et al.], Springer Verlag, 1989. NATO Advanced Science Institute Series (Series F: Computer and System Sciences Vol. 55).

The notion can be summed up by defining that two binary operations $\varobar$ and $\varominus$ abide if for all a, b, c, d:

$(a \varominus b) \varobar (c \varominus d) = (a \varobar c) \varominus (b \varobar d)$.

There is a cute pictorial explanation of this idea in Maarten Fokkinga's remarkably readable Ph.D dissertation on p. 20.

The idea appears again on p.88 as part of the famous 'banana split' theorem, and then later on p90 the above names above are given along with the laws:

fmap f &&& fmap g = unfzip . fmap (f &&& g)
bimap f g &&& bimap h j = unbizip . bimap (f &&& h) (g &&& j)
fmap f ||| fmap g = fmap (f ||| g) . counfzip

That said the cases when the inverse operations exist do not appear to be mentioned in these sources.