Linear Relation Algebra of Circuits with HMatrix

Oooh this is a fun one.

I’ve talked before about relation algebra and I think it is pretty neat. In that blog post, I used finite relations. In principle, they are simple to work with. We can perform relation algebra operations like composition, meet, and join by brute force enumeration.

Unfortunately, brute force may not always be an option. First off, the finite relations grow so enormous as to be make this infeasible. Secondly, it is not insane to talk about relations or regions with an infinite number of elements, such as some continuous blob in 2D space. In that case, we can’t even in principle enumerate all the points in the region. What are we to do? We need to develop some kind of finite parametrization of regions to manipulate. This parametrization basically can’t possibly be complete in some sense, and we may choose more or less powerful systems of description for computational reasons.

In this post, we are going to be talking about linear or affine subspaces of a continuous space. These subspaces are hyperplanes. Linear subspaces have to go through the origin, while affine spaces can have an offset from the origin.

In the previous post, I mentioned that the finite relations formed a lattice, with operations meet and join. These operations were the same as set intersection and union so the introduction of the extra terminology meet and join felt a bit unwarranted. Now the meet and join aren’t union and intersection anymore. We have chosen to not have the capability to represent the union of two vectors, instead we can only represent the smallest subspace that contains them both, which is the union closed under vector addition. For example, the join of a line and point will be the plane that goes through both.

Linear/Affine stuff is great because it is so computational. Most questions you cant to ask are answerable by readily available numerical linear algebra packages. In this case, we’ll use the Haskell package HMatrix, which is something like a numpy/scipy equivalent for Haskell. We’re going to use type-level indices to denote the sizes and partitioning of these spaces so we’ll need some helper functions.

Matrices are my patronum. They make everything good. Artwork courtesy of David

In case I miss any extensions, make typos, etc, you can find a complete compiling version here

In analogy with sets of tuples for defining finite relations, we partition the components of the linear spaces to be “input” and “output” indices/variables \begin{bmatrix} x_1 & x_2 & x_3 & ... & y_1 & y_2 & y_3 & ... \end{bmatrix}. This partition is somewhat arbitrary and easily moved around, but the weakening of strict notions of input and output as compared to functions is the source of the greater descriptive power of relations.

Relations are extensions of functions, so linear relations are an extension of linear maps. A linear map has the form y = Ax. A linear relation has the form Ax + By = 0. An affine map has the form y = Ax + b and an affine relation has the form Ax + By = b.

There are at least two useful concrete representation for subspaces.

  1. We can write a matrix A and vector b down that corresponds to affine constraints. Ax = b. The subspace described is the nullspace of A plus a solution of the equation. The rows of A are orthogonal to the space.
  2. We can hold onto generators of subspace. x = A' l+b where l parametrizes the subspace. In other words, the subspace is generated by / is the span of the columns of A'. It is the range of A'.

We’ll call these two representations the H-Rep and V-Rep, borrowing terminology from similar representations in polytopes (describing a polytope by the inequalities that define it’s faces or as the convex combination of it’s vertices). These two representations are dual in many respects.

It is useful to have both reps and interconversion routines, because different operations are easy in the two representations. Any operations defined on one can be defined on the other by sandwiching between these conversion functions. Hence, we basically only need to define operations for one of the reps (if we don’t care too much about efficiency loss which, fair warning, is out the window for today). The bulk of computation will actually be performed by these interconversion routines. The HMatrix function nullspace performs an SVD under the hood and gathers up the space with 0 singular values.

These linear relations form a category. I’m not using the Category typeclass because I need BEnum constraints hanging around. The identity relations is x = y aka Ix - Iy = 0.

Composing relations is done by combining the constraints of the two relations and then projecting out the interior variables. Taking the conjunction of constraints is easiest in the H-Rep, where we just need to vertically stack the individual constraints. Projection easily done in the V-rep, where you just need to drop the appropriate section of the generator vectors. So we implement this operation by flipping between the two.

We can implement the general cadre of relation operators, meet, join, converse. I feel the converse is the most relational thing of all. It makes inverting a function nearly a no-op.

Relational inclusion is the question of subspace inclusion. It is fairly easy to check if a VRep is in an HRep (just see plug the generators into the constraints and see if they obey them) and by using the conversion functions we can define it for arbitrary combos of H and V.

It is useful the use the direct sum of the spaces as a monoidal product.

A side note: Void causes some consternation. Void is the type with no elements and is the index type of a 0 dimensional space. It is the unit object of the monoidal product. Unfortunately by an accident of the standard Haskell definitions, actual Void is not a BEnum. So, I did a disgusting hack. Let us not discuss it more.


Baez and Fong have an interesting paper where they describe building circuits using a categorical graphical calculus. We have the pieces to go about something similar. What we have here is a precise way in which circuit diagrams can be though of as string diagrams in a monoidal category of linear relations.

An idealized wire has two quantities associated with it, the current flowing through it and the voltage it is at.

When we connect wires, the currents must be conserved and the voltages must be equal. hid and hcompose from above still achieve that. Composing two independent circuits in parallel is achieve by hpar.

Independent resistors in parallel.

We will want some basic tinker toys to work with.

A resistor in series has the same current at both ends and a voltage drop proportional to the current

Composing two resistors in parallel adds the resistance. (resistor r1) <<< (resistor r2) == resistor (r1 + r2))

A bridging resistor allows current to flow between the two branches

A bridging resistor

Composing two bridge circuits is putting the bridge resistors in parallel. The conductance G=\frac{1}{R} of resistors in parallel adds. hcompose (bridge r1) (bridge r2) == bridge 1 / (1/r1 + 1/r2).

parallel resistors compose

An open circuit allows no current to flow and ends a wire. open ~ resistor infinity

At branching points, the voltage is maintained, but the current splits.

This cmerge combinator could also be built using a short == bridge 0 , composing a branch with open, and then absorbing the Void away.

We can bend wires up or down by using a composition of cmerge and open.

Voltage and current sources enforce current and voltage to be certain values

Measurements of circuits proceed by probes.

Inductors and capacitors could be included easily, but would require the entries of the HMatrix values to be polynomials in the frequency \omega, which it does not support (but it could!). We’ll leave those off for another day.

We actually can determine that the rules suggested above are being followed by computation.

Bits and Bobbles

  • Homogenous systems are usually a bit more elegant to deal with, although a bit more unfamiliar and abstract.
  • Could make a pandas like interface for linear relations that uses numpy/scipy.sparse for the computation. All the swapping and associating is kind of fun to design, not so much to use. Labelled n-way relations are nice for users.
  • Implicit/Lazy evaluation. We should let the good solvers do the work when possible. We implemented our operations eagerly. We don’t have to. By allowing hidden variables inside our relations, we can avoid the expensive linear operations until it is useful to actually compute on them.
  • Relational division = quotient spaces?
  • DSL. One of the beauties of the pointfree/categorical approach is that you avoid the need for binding forms. This makes for a very easily manipulated DSL. The transformations feel like those of ordinary algebra and you don’t have to worry about the subtleties of index renaming or substitution under binders.
  • Sparse is probably really good. We have lots of identity matrices and simple rearrangements. It is very wasteful to use dense operations on these.
  • Schur complement are the name in the game for projecting out pieces of linear problems. We have some overlap.
  • Linear relations -> Polyhedral relations -> Convex Relations. Linear is super computable, polyhedral can blow up. Rearrange a DSL to abuse Linear programming as much as possible for queries.
  • Network circuits. There is an interesting subclass of circuits that is designed to be pretty composable. Two port networks are a very useful subclass of electrical circuits. They model transmission lines fairly well, and easily composable for filter construction.

It is standard to describe these networks by giving a linear function between two variables and the other two variables. Depending on your choice of which variables depend on which, these are called the z-parameters, y-parameters, h-parameters, scattering parameters, abcd parameters. There are tables of formula for converting from one form to the others. The different parameters hold different use cases for composition and combining in parallel or series. From the perspective of linear relations this all seems rather silly. The necessity for so many descriptions and the confusing relationship between them comes from the unnecessary and overly rigid requirement of have a linear function-like relationship rather than just a general relation, which depending of the circuit may not even be available (there are degenerate configurations where two of the variables do not imply the values of the other two). A function relationship is always a lie (although a sometimes useful one), as there is always back-reaction of new connections.

The relation model also makes clearer how to build lumped models out of continuous ones.

  • Because the type indices have no connection to the actual data types (they are phantom) it is a wise idea to use smart constructors that check that the sizes of the matrices makes sense.
  • Nonlinear circuits. Grobner Bases and polynomial relations?
  • Quadratic optimization under linear constraints. Can’t get it to come out right yet. Clutch for Kalman filters. Nice for many formulations like least power, least action, minimum energy principles.
  • Quadratic Operators -> Convex operators. See last chapter of Rockafellar.
  • Duality of controllers and filters. It is well known (I think) that for ever controller algorithm there is a filter algorithm that is basically the same thing.
    • LQR – Kalman
    • Viterbi filter – Value function table
    • particle filter – Monte Carlo control
    • Extended Kalman – iLQR-ish? Use local approximation of dynamics
    • unscented kalman – ?


Failing to Bound Kissing Numbers

Cody brought up the other day the kissing number problem.Kissing numbers are the number of equal sized spheres you can pack around another one in d dimensions. It’s fairly self evident that the number is 2 for 1-d and 6 for 2d but 3d isn’t so obvious and in fact puzzled great mathematicians for a while. He was musing that it was interesting that he kissing numbers for some dimensions are not currently known, despite the fact that the first order theory of the real numbers is decidable

I suggested on knee jerk that Sum of Squares might be useful here. I see inequalities and polynomials and then it is the only game in town that I know anything about.

Apparently that knee jerk was not completely wrong

Somehow SOS/SDP was used for bounds here. I had an impulse that the problem feels SOS-y but I do not understand their derivation.

One way the problem can be formulated is by finding or proving there is no solution to the following set of equations constraining the centers x_i of the spheres. Set the central sphere at (0,0,0,…) . Make the radii 1. Then\forall i. |x_i|^2 = 2^2 and \forall i j.  |x_i - x_j|^2 \ge 2^2

I tried a couple different things and have basically failed. I hope maybe I’ll someday have a follow up post where I do better.

So I had 1 idea on how to approach this via a convex relaxation

Make a vector x = \begin{bmatrix} x_0 & y _0 & x_1 & y _1 & x_2 & y _2 & ... \end{bmatrix} Take the outer product of this vector x^T x = X Then we can write the above equations as linear equalities and inequalities on X. If we forget that we need X to be the outer product of x (the relaxation step), this becomes a semidefinite program. Fingers crossed, maybe the solution comes back as a rank 1 matrix. Other fingers crossed, maybe the solution comes back and says it’s infeasible. In either case, we have solved our original problem.

Didn’t work though. Sigh. It’s conceivable we might do better if we start packing higher powers into x?

Ok Round 2. Let’s just ask z3 and see what it does. I’d trust z3 with my baby’s soft spot.

It solves for 5 and below. Z3 grinds to a halt on N=6 and above. It ran for days doin nothing on my desktop.

Ok. A different tact. Try to use a positivstellensatz proof. If you have a bunch of polynomial inequalities and equalities if you sum polynomial multiples of these constraints, with the inequalities having sum of square multiples, in such a way to = -1, it shows that there is no real solution to them. We have the distance from origin as equality constraint and distance from each other as an inequality constraint. I intuitively think of the positivstellensatz as deriving an impossibility from false assumptions. You can’t add a bunch of 0 and positive numbers are get a negative number, hence there is no real solution.

I have a small set of helper functions for combining sympy and cvxpy for sum of squares optimization. I keep it here along with some other cute little constructs

and here is the attempted positivstellensatz.

It worked in 1-d, but did not work in 2d. At order 3 polynomials N=7, I maxed out my ram.

I also tried doing it in Julia, since sympy was killing me. Julia already has a SOS package

It was faster to encode, but it’s using the same solver (SCS), so basically the same thing.

I should probably be reducing the system with respect to equality constraints since they’re already in a Groebner basis. I know that can be really important for reducing the size of your problem

I dunno.

Blah blah blah blah A bunch of unedited trash Peter Wittek has probably died in an avalanche? That is very sad.

These notes


kissing number

Review of sum of squares

minimimum sample as LP. ridiculous problem
min t
st. f(x_i) – t >= 0

dual -> one dual variable per sample point
The only dual that will be non zero is that actually selecting the minimum.

Hm. Yeah, that’s a decent analogy.

How does the dual even have a chance of knowing about poly airhtmetic?
It must be during the SOS conversion prcoess. In building the SOS constraints,
we build a finite, limittted version of polynomial multiplication
x as a matrix. x is a shift matrix.
In prpducing the characterstic polynomial, x is a shift matrix, with the last line using the polynomial
known to be zero to
eigenvectors of this matrix are zeros of the poly.

SOS does not really on polynomials persay. It relies on closure of the suqaring operaiton

maybe set one sphere just at x=0 y = 2. That breaks some symmettry

set next sphere in plane something. random plane through origin?

order y components – breaks some of permutation symmettry.

no, why not order in a random direction. That seems better for symmettry breaking

Learn Coq in Y

I’ve been preparing a Learn X in Y tutorial for Coq.

I’ve been telling people this and been surprised by how few people have heard of the site. It’s super quick intros to syntax and weirdness for a bunch of languages with inline code tutorials.
I think that for me, a short description of that mundane syntactic and programming constructs of coq is helpful.
Some guidance of the standard library, what is available by default. And dealing with Notation scopes, which is a pretty weird feature that most languages don’t have.
The manual actually has all this now. It’s really good. Like check this section out . But the manual is an intimidating documents. It starts with a BNF description of syntax and things like that. The really useful pedagogical stuff is scattered throughout it.

Anyway here is my draft (also here where the syntax highlighting isn’t so janked up). Suggestions welcome. Or if this gets accepted, you can just make pull requests

Bonus. An uneditted list of tactics. You’d probably prefer

Neural Networks with Weighty Lenses (DiOptics?)

I wrote a while back how you can make a pretty nice DSL for reverse mode differentiation based on the same type as Lens. I’d heard some interesting rumblings on the internet around these ideas and so was revisiting them.

Composition is defined identically for reverse mode just as it is for lens.

The forward computation shares info with the backwards differential propagation, which corresponds to a transposed Jacobian

After chewing on it a while, I realized this really isn’t that exotic. How it works is that you store the reverse mode computation graph, and all necessary saved data from the forward pass in the closure of the (dy -> dx). I also have a suspicion that if you defunctionalized this construction, you’d get the Wengert tape formulation of reverse mode ad.

Second, Lens is just a nice structure for bidirectional computation, with one forward pass and one backward pass which may or may not be getting/setting. There are other examples for using it like this.

It is also pretty similar to the standard “dual number” form type FAD x dx y dy = (x,dx)->(y,dy) for forward mode AD. We can bring the two closer by a CPS/Yoneda transformation and then some rearrangement.

and meet it in the middle with

I ended the previous post somewhat unsatisfied by how ungainly writing that neural network example was, and I called for Conal Elliot’s compiling to categories plugin as a possible solution. The trouble is piping the weights all over the place. This piping is very frustrating in point-free form, especially when you know it’d be so trivial pointful. While the inputs and outputs of layers of the network compose nicely (you no longer need to know about the internal computations), the weights do not. As we get more and more layers, we get more and more weights. The weights are in some sense not as compositional as the inputs and outputs of the layers, or compose in a different way that you need to maintain access to.

I thought of a very slight conceptual twist that may help.

The idea is we keep the weights out to the side in their own little type parameter slots. Then we define composition such that it composes input/outputs while tupling the weights. Basically we throw the repetitive complexity appearing in piping the weights around into the definition of composition itself.

These operations are easily seen as 2 dimensional diagrams.

Three layers composed, exposing the weights from all layers
The 2-D arrow things can be built out of the 1-d arrows of the original basic AD lens by bending the weights up and down. Ultimately they are describing the same thing

Here’s the core reverse lens ad combinators

And here are the two dimensional combinators. I tried to write them point-free in terms of the combinators above to demonstrate that there is no monkey business going on. We

I wonder if this is actually nice?

I asked around and it seems like this idea may be what davidad is talking about when he refers to dioptics

Perhaps this will initiate a convo.

Edit: He confirms that what I’m doing appears to be a dioptic. Also he gave a better link

He is up to some interesting diagrams

Bits and Bobbles

  • Does this actually work or help make things any better?
  • Recurrent neural nets flip my intended role of weights and inputs.
  • Do conv-nets naturally require higher dimensional diagrams?
  • This weighty style seems like a good fit for my gauss seidel and iterative LQR solvers. A big problem I hit there was getting all the information to the outside, which is a similar issue to getting the weights around in a neural net.

Gröbner Bases and Optics

Geometrical optics is a pretty interesting topic. It really is almost pure geometry/math rather than physics.

Huygens principle says that we can compute the propagation of a wave by considering the wavelets produced by each point on the wavefront separately.

In physical optics, this corresponds to the linear superposition of the waves produced at each point by a propagator function \int dx' G(x,x'). In geometrical optics, which was Huygens original intent I think (these old school guys were VERY geometrical), this is the curious operation of taking the geometrical envelope of the little waves produced by each point.

The gist of Huygens principles. Ripped from wikipedia The envelope is an operation on a family of curves. You can approximate it by a finite difference procedure. Take two subsequent curves close together in the family, find their intersection. Keep doing that and the join up all the intersections. This is roughly the approach I took in this post

Taking the envelope of a family of lines. Ripped from wikipedia

You can describe a geometrical wavefront implicitly with an equations \phi(x,y) = 0. Maybe the wavefront is a circle, or a line, or some wacky shape.

The wavelet produced by the point x,y after a time t is described implicitly by d(\vec{x},\vec{x'})^2 - t^2 = (x-x')^2 + (y-y')^2 - t^2 = 0.

This described a family of curves, the circles produced by the different points of the original wavefront. If you take the envelope of this family you get the new wavefront at time t.

How do we do this? Grobner bases is one way if we make \phi a polynomial equation. For today’s purposes, Grobner bases are a method for solving multivariate polynomial equations. Kind of surprising that such a thing even exists. It’s actually a guaranteed terminating algorithm with horrific asymptotic complexity. Sympy has an implementation. For more on Grobner bases, the links here are useful Especially check out the Cox Little O’Shea books

The algorithm churns on a set of multivariate polynomials and spits out a new set that is equivalent in the sense that the new set is equal to zero if and only if the original set was. However, now (if you ask for the appropriate term ordering) the polynomials are organized in such a way that they have an increasing number of variables in them. So you solve the 1-variable equation (easy), and substitute into the 2 variable equation. Then that is a 1-variable equation, which you solve (easy) and then you substitute into the three variable equation, and so on. It’s analogous to gaussian elimination.

So check this out

The envelope conditions can be found by introducing two new differential variables dx, and dy. They are constrained to lie tangent to the point on the original circle by the differential equation e3, and then we require that the two subsequent members of the curve family intersect by the equation e4. Hence we get the envelope. Ask for the Grobner basis with that variable ordering gives us an implicit equations for x2, y2 with no mention of the rest if we just look at the last equation of the Grobner basis.

I set arbitrarily dy = 1 because the overall scale of them does not matter, only the direction. If you don’t do this, the final equation is scaled homogenously in dy.

This does indeed show the two new wavefronts at radius 1 and radius 3.

Original circle radius = 2

x1**2 + y1**2 – 4 = 0
Evolved circles found via grobner basis.

(x2**2 + y2**2 – 9)*(x2**2 + y2**2 – 1) = 0

Here’s a different one of a parabola using e1 =  y1 – x1 + x1**2

Original curve y1 – x1 + x1**2 = 0
After 1 time step.

16*x2**6 – 48*x2**5 + 16*x2**4*y2**2 + 32*x2**4*y2 + 4*x2**4 – 32*x2**3*y2**2 – 64*x2**3*y2 + 72*x2**3 + 32*x2**2*y2**3 + 48*x2**2*y2 – 40*x2**2 – 32*x2*y2**3 + 16*x2*y2**2 – 16*x2*y2 – 4*x2 + 16*y2**4 + 32*y2**3 – 20*y2**2 – 36*y2 – 11 = 0

The weird lumpiness here is plot_implicit’s inability to cope, not the actually curve shape Those funky prongs are from a singularity that forms as the wavefront folds over itself.

I tried using a cubic curve x**3 and the grobner basis algorithm seems to crash my computer. 🙁 Perhaps this is unsurprising. ?

I don’t know how to get the wavefront to go in only 1 direction? As is, it is propagating into the past and the future. Would this require inequalities? Sum of squares optimization perhaps?


It’s been suggested on reddit that I’d have better luck using other packages, like Macaulay2, MAGMA, or Singular. Good point

Also it was suggested I use the Dixon resultant, for which there is an implementation in sympy, albeit hidden. Something to investigate

Another interesting angle might be to try to go numerical with a homotopy continuation method with phcpy

or pybertini

Concolic Weakest Precondition is Kind of Like a Lens

That’s a mouthful.

Lens are described as functional getters and setters. The simple lens type is

. The setter is

and the getter is

This type does not constrain lenses to obey the usual laws of getters and setters. So we can use/abuse lens structures for nontrivial computations that have forward and backwards passes that share information. Jules Hedges is particular seems to be a proponent for this idea.

I’ve described before how to encode reverse mode automatic differentiation in this style. I have suspicions that you can make iterative LQR and guass-seidel iteration have this flavor too, but I’m not super sure. My attempts ended somewhat unsatisfactorily a whiles back but I think it’s not hopeless. The trouble was that you usually want the whole vector back, not just its ends.

I’ve got another example in imperative program analysis that kind of makes sense and might be useful though. Toy repo here:

In program analysis it sometimes helps to run a program both concretely and symbolically. Concolic = CONCrete / symbOLIC. Symbolic stuff can slowly find hard things and concrete execution just sprays super fast and can find the dumb things really quick.  

We can use a lens structure to organize a DSL for describing a simple imperative language

The forward pass is for the concrete execution. The backward pass is for transforming the post condition to a pre condition in a weakest precondition analysis. Weakest precondition semantics is a way of specifying what is occurring in an imperative language. It tells how each statement transforms post conditions (predicates about the state after the execution) into pre conditions (predicates about before the execution).  The concrete execution helps unroll loops and avoid branching if-then-else behavior that would make the symbolic stuff harder to process. I’ve been flipping through Djikstra’s book on this. Interesting stuff, interesting man.

I often think of a state machine as a function taking s -> s. However, this is kind of restrictive. It is possible to have heterogenous transformations s -> s’. Why not? I think I am often thinking about finite state machines, which we really don’t intend to have a changing state size. Perhaps we allocated new memory or something or brought something into or out of scope. We could model this by assuming the memory was always there, but it seems wasteful and perhaps confusing. We need to a priori know everything we will need, which seems like it might break compositionally.

We could model our language making some data type like
data Imp = Skip | Print String | Assign String Expr | Seq Imp Imp | ...
and then build an interpreter


But we can also cut out the middle man and directly define our language using combinators.

To me this has some flavor of a finally tagless style.

Likewise for expressions. Expressions evaluate to something in the context of the state (they can lookup variables), so let’s just use

And, confusingly (sorry), I think it makes sense to use Lens in their original getter/setter intent for variables. So Lens structure is playing double duty.

type Var s a = Lens' s a

With that said, here we go.

Weakest precondition can be done similarly, instead we start from the end and work backwards

Predicates are roughly sets. A simple type for sets is

Now, this doesn’t have much deductive power, but I think it demonstrates the principles simply. We could replace Pred with perhaps an SMT solver expression, or some data type for predicates, for which we’ll need to implement things like substitution. Let’s not today.

A function

is equivalent to

. This is some kind of CPS / Yoneda transformation thing. A state transformer

to predicate transformer

is somewhat evocative of that. I’m not being very precise here at all.

Without further ado, here’s how I think a weakest precondition looks roughly.

Finally here is a combination of the two above that uses the branching structure of the concrete execution to aid construction of the precondition. Although I haven’t expanded it out, we are using the full s t a b parametrization of lens in the sense that states go forward and predicates come back.

Neat. Useful? Me dunno.

Relational Algebra with Fancy Types

Last time, I tried to give a primer of relations and relational algebra using the Haskell type type Rel a b = [(a,b)]. In this post we’re going to look at these ideas from a slightly different angle. Instead of encoding relations using value level sets, we’ll encode relations in the type system. The Algebra of Programming Agda repo and the papers quoted therein are very relevant, so if you’re comfortable wading into those waters, give them a look. You can find my repo for fiddling here

At this point, depending on what you’ve seen before, you’re either thinking “Yeah, sure. That’s a thing.” or you’re thinking “How and why the hell would you do such a ridiculous thing.”

Most of this post will be about how, so let’s address why first:

  1. Examining relations in this style illuminates some constructions that appear around the Haskell ecosystem, particularly some peculiar fellows in the profunctor package.
  2. More syntactic approach to relations allows discussion of larger/infinite domains. The finite enumerations of the previous post is nice for simplicity, but it seems you can’t get far that way.
  3. Mostly because we can – It’s a fun game. Maybe a useful one? TBD.

With that out of the way, let’s go on to how.

Translating Functions to Relation GADTs

We will be using some Haskell extensions in this post, at the very least GADTs and DataKinds. For an introduction to GADTs and DataKinds, check out this blog post. DataKinds is an extension that reflects every data constructor of data types to a type constructor. Because there are values True and False there are corresponding types created'True and 'False. GADTs is an extension of the type definition mechanism of standard Haskell. They allow you to declare refined types for the constructors of your data and they infer those refined type when you pattern match out of the data as well, such that the whole process is kind of information preserving.

We will use the GADT extension to define relational datatypes with the kind

. That way it has a slot a for the “input” and b for the “output” of the relation. What will goes in these type slots will be DataKind lifted types like 'True, not ordinary Haskell types like Int. This is a divergence from from the uses of similar kinds you see in Category, Profunctor, or Arrow. We’re doing a more typelevel flavored thing than you’ll see in those libraries. What we’re doing is clearly a close brother of the singleton approach to dependently typed programming in Haskell.

Some examples are in order for what I mean. Here are two simple boolean functions, not and and defined in ordinary Haskell functions, and their equivalent GADT relation data type.

You can already start to see how mechanical the correspondence between the ordinary function definition and our new fancy relation type. A function is often defined via cases. Each case corresponds to a new constructor of the relation and each pattern that occurs in that case is the pattern that appears in the GADT. Multiple arguments to the relations are encoded by uncurrying everything by default.

Any function calls that occur on the right hand side of a function definition becomes fields in the constructor of our relation. This includes recursive calls and external function calls. Here are some examples with a Peano style natural number data type.

We can also define things that aren’t functions. Relations are a larger class of things than functions are, which is part of their utility. Here is a “less than equal” relation LTE.

You can show that elements are in a particular relation by finding a value of that relational type. Is ([4,7], 11) in the relation Plus? Yes, and I can show it with with the value PS (PS (PS (PS PZ))) :: Plus (4,7) 11 . This is very much the Curry-Howard correspondence. The type R a b corresponds to the proposition/question is (a,b) \in R .

The Fun Stuff : Relational Combinators

While you need to build some primitive relations using new data type definitions, others can be built using relational combinators. If you avoid defining too many primitive relations like the above and build them out of combinators, you expose a rich high level manipulation algebra. Otherwise you are stuck in the pattern matching dreck. We are traveling down the same road we did in the previous post, so look there for less confusing explanations of the relational underpinnings of these constructions, or better yet some of the references below.

Higher order relational operators take in a type parameters of kind

and produce new types of a similar kind. The types appearing in these combinators is the AST of our relational algebra language.

The first two combinators of interest is the composition operator and the identity relation. An element (a,c) is in R \cdot Q if there exists a b such that (a,b) \in R and (b,c) \in Q. The fairly direct translation of this into a type is

The type of the composition is the same as that of Profunctor composition found in the profunctors package.

Alongside a composition operator, it is a knee jerk to look for an identity relation and we do have one

This is also a familiar friend. The identity relation in this language is the Equality type.

We can build an algebra for handling product and sum types by defining the appropriate relational combinators. These are very similar to the combinators in the Control.Arrow package.

The converse of relations is very interesting operation and is the point where relations really differ from functions. Inverting a function is tough. Conversing a relation always works. This data type has no analog in profunctor to my knowledge and probably shouldn’t.

Relations do not have a notion of currying. The closest thing they have is

Lattice Operators

For my purposes, lattices are descriptions of sets that trade away descriptive power for efficiency. So most operations you’d perform on sets have an analog in the lattice structure, but it isn’t a perfect matching and you’re forced into approximation. It is nice to have the way you perform these approximation be principled, so that you can know at the end of your analysis whether you’ve actually really shown anything or not about the actual sets in question.

? No. No… Yes? Oh. OH! IT IS!

The top relation holds all values. This is represented by making no conditions on the type parameters. They are completely phantom.

Bottom is a relation with no inhabitants.

The meet is basically the intersection of the relations, the join is basically the union.

A Lattice has an order on it. This order is given by relational inclusion. This is the same as the :-> combinator can be found in the profunctors package.

Relational equality can be written as back and forth inclusion, a natural isomorphism between the relations. There is also an interesting indirect form.

Relational Division

If we consider the equation (r <<< p) :-> q with p and q given, in what sense is there a solution for r? By analogy, this looks rather like r*p = q, so we’re asking a kind of division question. Well, unfortunately, this equation may not necessarily have a solution (neither do linear algebraic equations for that matter), but we can ask for the best under approximation instead. This is the operation of relational division. It also appears in the profunctor package as the right Kan Extension. You’ll also find the universal property of the right division under the name curryRan and uncurryRan in that module.

One formulation of Galois connections can be found in the adjunctions file. Galois Connections are very slick, but I’m running out of steam, so let’s leave that one for another day.

Properties and Proofs

We can prove many properties about these relational operations. Here a a random smattering that we showed using quickcheck last time.

Odds and Ends

  • Recursion Schemes – Recursion schemes are a methodology to talk about recursion in a point free style and where the rubber meets the road in the algebra of programming. Here is an excellent series of articles about them. Here is a sample of how I think they go:
  • Higher Order Relations?
  • Examples of use. Check out the examples folder in the AoP Agda repo. These are probably translatable into Haskell.
  • Interfacing with Singletons. Singletonized functions are a specialized case or relations. Something like?
  • A comment to help avoid confusion. What we’ve done here feels confusingly similar to profunctor, but it is in fact distinct I think. Profunctors are described as a categorical generalization of relations , but to be honest, I kind of don’t get it. Despite many of our constructions appearing in the profunctor package, the profunctor typeclass itself appears to not play a role in our formulation. There just isn’t a good way to dimap under our relations as written, unless you construct free profunctors. Converse at the least is a wrench in the works.
  • Star and graphs. Transition relations are a powerful methodology. A transition relation is in some respects the analog of a square matrix. We can iteratively compose it with itself.


CAV 2019 Notes: Probably Nothin Interestin’ for You. A bit of noodling with Liquid Haskell

I went to the opening workshops of CAV 2019 in New York this year (on my own dime mind you!) after getting back from joining Ben on the long trail for a bit. The tutorials on Rosette and Liquid Haskell were really fun. Very interesting technology. Also got some good ramen and mochi pudding, so it’s all good. Big Gay Ice Cream was dece.

Day 1 workshops

Calin Belta a new book. Control of Temporal logic systems. Automata. Optimized. Partition space into abstraction. Bisimulation

Control Lyapunov Function (CLF) – guarantees you are going where you want to go

Control Barrier Function – Somehow controls regions you don’t want to go to.

Lyapunov function based trajectory optimization. You somehow have (Ames 2014) Is this it?

Differential flatness , input output linearization

Sadradiini worked there.

Temproal logic with

Rise of Temporal Logic

Linear Temporal Logic vs CTL

Fixpoint logic,

Buchi automata – visit accepting state infinite times

equivalency to first order logic

monadic logic, propositions only take 1 agrument. Decidable. Lowenheim. Quantifier elimination. Bounded Mondel property

Languages: ForSpec, SVA, LDL, PSL, Sugar

Monadic second order logic (MSO).

method of tableau


Polytopic regions. Can push forward the dynmaics around a trajectory and the polytope that you lie in. RRT/LQR polytopic tree. pick random poitn. Run.

Evauating branching heuristics

branch and prune icp. dreal.

branch and prune. Take set. Propagate constraints until none fire.

branching heuristics on variables

largest first, smearing, lookahead. Try different options see who has the most pruning. Non clear that helped that muhc

QF_NRA. dreal benchmarks. flyspeck, control, robotics, SMT-lib


commands: saolver adied programming

verify – find an input on which the assertions fail. exists x. not safe

debug – Minimal unsat core if you give an unsat query. x=42/\ safe(s,P(x))$ we know thia is unsat because of previous step

solve – exists v si.t safe(v)

synthesis – exists e forall x safe(x,P(x))

define-symbolic, assert, verify, debug, solve, sythesis

Rosette. Alloy is also connected to her. Z Method. Is related to relational logic?

Building solver aided programming tool.

symbolic compiler. reduce program all possible paths to a constraint

Cling – symbolic execution engine for llvm

implement intepreter in rosette

Symbolic virtual machine

layering of languages. DSL. library (shallow) embedding. interpreter (deep) embedding.

deep embedding for sythesis.

I can extract coq to rosette?

how does it work?

reverse and filter keeping only positive queries.

symbolic execution vs bounded model checking

symbolic checks every possible branch of the program. Cost is expoentntial


type driven state merging. Merge instances of primitiv types. (like BMC), value types structurally ()

instance Merge Int, Bool, Real — collect up SMT context

vs. Traversable f => Merge (f c) – do using Traversable

symbolic union a set of guarded values with diskoint guard.

merging union. at most one of any shape. bounded by number of possible shapes.

puts some branching in rosette and some branch (on primitives) in SMT.

symbolic propfiling. Repair the encdoing.

tools people have built.

veify radiation

strategy generation. That’s interesting. builds good rewrite rules.


certikso komodo keystone. fintie programss

IS rosette going to be useful for my work? coooooould be

Liquid Haskell