overloaded-0.2.1: Overloaded:Categories

Posted on 2020-05-04 by Oleg Grenrus overloaded

The Overloaded:Categories is another of the new features of recent overloaded 0.2.1 release. I wrote about Overloaded:Do, last week overloaded package uses source plugins to reinterpret syntax in different ways.

Alexis King (lexi-lambda) is working on various Arrows issues, including Constrained based arrow notation -ghc-proposal. Overloaded:Categories is however orthogonal. We are not considered as much with how arrow notation is desugared, but rather into what.

My claim is that Arrow-classes are maybe not what we want to desugar into. Samuel Gélineau (gelisam) works on Template Haskell library category-syntax to desugar do notation into category classes. Overloaded:Categories is different as it desugars arrow notation using source plugin functionality.

We'll discuss Arrow class and its alternative CartesianCategory, how we can desugar into latter, and see few examples of Overloaded:Categories where GHC Arrows are not applicable.

This work and especially AD example are inspired by Conal Elliott Compiling to categories.

#Arrow type class

Let us revisit Arrow type-class. The most minimal definition is

class Category a => Arrow a where
    arr :: (b -> c) -> a b c

    (***) :: a b c -> a b' c' -> a (b,b') (c,c')

The first problem is the arr combinator. The arrow notation desugaring doesn't need as powerful combinator. arr is used to do data-plumbing, rearranging tuple fields, in other words:

    proj1 :: a (b,c) b
    proj2 :: a (b,c) c

    (&&&) :: a b c -> a b c' -> a b (c,c')
    -- or
    dup   :: a b c -> a b (c,c)

would be enough!

We can rather desugar into category theory inspired class

class Category a => CartesianCategory a where
    proj1 :: a (b, c) b
    proj2 :: a (b, c) c
    (&&&) :: a b c -> a b c' -> a b (c, c')

A somewhat natural generalization is to not require product object to be a pair. This allows CartesianCategory to be polykinded.

class Category a => CartesianCategory (a :: k -> k -> Type) where
    type Product a :: k -> k -> k

    proj1 :: a (Product a b c) b
    proj2 :: a (Product a b c) c
    (&&&) :: a b c -> a b c' -> a b (Product a c c')
             -- ^ called 'fanout' in the Overloaded.Categories

Arrow is more powerful than CartesianCategory. We can write CartesianCategory instance for WrappedArrow:

newtype WrappedArrow arr b c = WrapArrow (arr b c)

instance A.Arrow arr => CartesianCategory (WrappedArrow arr) where
    type Product (WrappedArrow arr) = (,)
    proj1 = WrapArrow (A.arr fst) -- note, here we do
    proj2 = WrapArrow (A.arr snd) -- just plumbing
    WrapArrow f &&& WrapArrow g = WrapArrow (f A.&&& g)

but cannot do the opposite: there is no way to write arr using CartesianCategory methods.

#Arrow-notation desugaring

A simple example of arrow notation in use could be:

assoc :: arr ((x,y),z) (x,(y,z))
assoc = proc (xy, z) -> do
    (x,  y) <- id -< xy
    yz      <- id -< (y, z)
    id -< (x, yz)

Note: one doesn't need returnA = arr id, the id is better.

How we could desugar the above statements into CartesianCategory combinators? We'll use similar (the same?) approach as Arrow are desugared. Each statement of the form

out <- morphism -< in

takes in some bindings, and adds new out ones. The beginning proc vars -> ... produces initial bindings and the final combinator -< ... assembles final "value".

We can write what variables are in scope after each statement:

assoc :: arr ((x,y),z) (x,(y,z))
assoc = proc (xy, z) -> do
    -- xy, z
    (x,  y) <- id -< xy
    -- xy, z, x, y
    yz      <- id -< (y, z)
    -- xy, z, x, y, yz
    id -< (x, yz)

The Overloaded:Categories desugared is very simple, as it essentially maintains a context of a input variable values. To construct tuples it uses &&& to tuple-them up, and when there is tuple-pattern match, overloaded applies proj1 and proj2.

#Desugaring example: first step

For specific example, let us zoom into

    -- xy, z
    (x,  y) <- id -< xy
    -- xy, z, x, y

step. Our goal is to construct

\begin{tikzcd} XY \times Z \arrow[r] & XY \times Z \times X \times Y \end{tikzcd}

diagram. As we have xy and z variables in scope, we have \texttt{xy} : XY \times Z \to XY and \texttt{z} : XY \times Z \to Z arrows. We don't construct tuples in this step, but deconstruct tuple so we will use proj1 ( \pi_1 ) and proj2 ( \pi_2 ). To carry the existing bindings over we use id &&& f (second, \langle 1 , f\rangle ) We can draw a diagram of what happens:

\begin{tikzcd} & & XY \times Z \arrow[rd] \\ XY \times Z \arrow[dr, "\texttt{xy}"] \arrow[urr, "1"] & & & (XY \times Z) \times (X \times Y) \\ & XY \arrow[r, "\texttt{id}"] & X \times Y \arrow[ru] \end{tikzcd}

The context is transformed to be

xy = xy . proj1
z  = z  . proj1
x  = proj1 . proj2
y  = proj2 . proj2

using id &&& id . xy.

#Desugaring example: second step

The next statement tuples up variables:

    -- xy, z, x, y
    yz      <- id -< (y, z)
    -- xy, z, x, y, yz

\begin{tikzcd} && (XY \times Z) \times (X \times Y) \arrow[rd] \\ (XY \times Z) \times (X \times Y) \arrow[urr, "1"] \arrow[r, "\pi_2 \circ \pi_2"] \arrow[rd, "\pi_2 \circ \pi_1"] &Y \arrow[r] & YZ \arrow[r] & ((XY \times Z) \times (X \times Y)) \times YZ \\ &Z \arrow[ur] \end{tikzcd}

The context is transformed to be

xy = xy . proj1 . proj1
z  = z  . proj1 . proj1
x  = proj1 . proj2 . proj1
y  = proj2 . proj2 . proj1
yz = proj2

by id &&& ((proj2 . proj2) &&& (proj2 . proj1)).

And the process continues similarly.

#Observations about desugaring

  • The actual arrow notation desugaring similarly have rules for each statements with input and output contexts.

  • repetitive fan outs and projections are often redundant, overloaded applies simplifications like proj1 . (f &&& g) into f, but not all possible to avoid losing possible sharing. The "optimizer" is far from smart.

  • We could be smarter and count which sharing are actually used afterwards, and only carry them over. In the example above xy is used once, so it doesn't need to be carried over. As far as I understand GHC desugaring does that.

    Ultimately, we could desugar using commutative monoidal category combinators (In the example above, only assoc is needed).

    assoc :: a ((b,c),d) (b,(c,d))
    swap  :: a (b, c) (c, b)

    But this is not yet supported in overloaded, as all example categories I wanted to work with were Cartesian.

#Example: STLC

The go to example for GADTs is well-typed simple typed lambda calculus terms:

-- types
data Ty
    = TyPair Ty Ty
    | TyFun Ty Ty
    | TyNat

-- indexing into context
data Elem :: [Ty] -> Ty -> Type where
    Here  :: Elem (x ': xs) x
    There :: Elem xs x -> Elem (y ': xs) x

-- terms
data Term :: [Ty] -> Ty -> Type where
    Var :: Elem ctx ty -> Term ctx ty

    Lam :: Term (a ': ctx) b -> Term ctx ('TyFun a b)
    App :: Term ctx ('TyFun a b) -> Term ctx a -> Term ctx b

    Fst :: Term ctx ('TyPair a b) -> Term ctx a
    Snd :: Term ctx ('TyPair a b) -> Term ctx b
    Pair :: Term ctx a -> Term ctx b -> Term ctx ('TyPair a b)

    Nat :: Natural -> Term ctx 'TyNat

The Elem value in Var indexes into context. The term values are thus full of Here, There Here etc de Bruijn indices. These are not fun to write.

We can define a helper type:

newtype Mapping (ctx :: [Ty]) (a :: Ty) (b :: Ty) =
    M (Term ctx ('TyFun a b))

which is not only Category, but also CartesianCategory:

instance CartesianCategory (Mapping ctx) where
    type Product (Mapping ctx) = 'TyPair

    proj1 = M $ Lam $ Fst var0
    proj2 = M $ Lam $ Snd var0
    fanout (M f) (M g) = M $ Lam $ Pair
        (app (weakenTerm f) var0)
        (app (weakenTerm g) var0)

The assoc value we defined above, with the help of Overloaded:Categories, has the type (and can be redefined more concisely):

    :: CartesianCategory cat
    => cat (Product cat (Product cat a b) c)
           (Product cat a (Product cat b c))
assoc = proc ((x, y), z) -> identity -< (x, (y, z))

which when specialized to Mapping produces term (after few reductions):

Lam (Pair (Fst (Fst (Var Here)))
          (Pair (Snd (Fst (Var Here)))
                (Snd (Var Here))))

The arrow-notation is not as concise as Haskell expression \((x,y),z) -> (x,(y,z)), but is nicer than counting de Bruijn indices by hand.

#Example: Automatic differentiation and machine learning

Another example I have worked out is machinery which allows to write automatic diffentiation programs. Like the small xor neural network below:

\begin{tikzcd}[row sep=tiny] X \arrow[r] \arrow[rdd] & U \arrow[rd] \\ & & Z \\ Y \arrow[r] \arrow[ruu] & V \arrow[ru] \\ \end{tikzcd}

type Input   = Leaf2
type NeuronW = 'Plus ('Leaf N.Nat2) Leaf1
type Weights = 'Plus ('Plus NeuronW NeuronW) NeuronW

type WeightsN = Eval Weights

-- single neuron with two inputs
neuron :: AD ('Plus Input NeuronW) Leaf1
neuron = proc (i, (ws, bias)) -> do
    o <- dot -< (ws, i)
    tanhAD . plus -< (o, bias)

-- the 2-2-1 network
network :: AD ('Plus Input Weights) Leaf1
network = proc (xy, ((w1, w2), w3)) -> do
    u  <- neuron -< (xy, w1)
    v  <- neuron -< (xy, w2)
    uv <- rewrap -< (u, v)
    neuron -< (uv, w3)

-- error for xor.
-- This can be more "dynamic", taking values in.
-- We apply gradient descent to minimise this.
networkError :: AD Weights Leaf1
networkError = proc ws -> do
    -- xor!
    s1 <- ex (1 ::: 1 ::: VNil) 0 -< ws
    s2 <- ex (0 ::: 0 ::: VNil) 0 -< ws
    s3 <- ex (1 ::: 0 ::: VNil) 1 -< ws
    s4 <- ex (0 ::: 1 ::: VNil) 1 -< ws

    sumAD -< ((s1,s2), (s3, s4))
    ex :: V N.Nat2 -> S -> AD Weights Leaf1
    ex i e = proc ws -> do
         i1 <- konst i               -< ()
         e1 <- konst (V.singleton e) -< ()
         a1 <- network               -< (i1, ws)
         r1 <- minus                 -< (e1, a1)
         dot -< (r1, r1)

Luckily GHC Haskell has (Typed) Template Haskell, so the generated code is quite fast: training this toy-xor-neural network takes a millisecond and evaluation 0.000s.


It would be great if Arrows desugared into CartesianCategory and other (basic) category theory inspired type-classes. However, I haven't told all arr is not used not only to do tuple mangling but also to mangle records into tuples and back and sum-types into Eithers (for ArrowChoice combinators). With Overloaded:Categories we are limited to whatever Product or Coproduct types are defined. And what may be confusing, the syntax is always tuples and Left/Right even the product and coproduct are something else. For example Cartesian product i.e. pair is not only product but also a coproduct in \mathbf{Vect} - category of vector spaces and linear maps.

The usage of Overloaded:Categories with proc could also be made nicer with heterogeneous lists, so one doesn't need to nest pairs, but use n-tuples. It can be done, but I just had to stop somewhere.

For Overloaded:Categories to cover all of Arrows use cases, we'll need a type-class with arr. In my opinion arr shouldn't be used for the bulk of desugaring, and shouldn't be in the root class of the hierarchy, but rather in a separate branch.

Similar situation is with having fromInteger in Num, the value used for desugaring of integer literals is conflated with kind-of class for ring structures (but with abs and signum), thus if you don't have ring structure you don't use literals. And if you cannot implement arr you don't use arrow-notation. overloaded offers alternative designs.

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