http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/13339/53/
An amazon link for the book is here:
http://www.amazon.com/ComputerScienceReconsideredInvocationExpression/dp/0471798142
The basic claim appears to be that discrete mathematics is a bad
foundation for computer science. I suspect the subscribers to this
list would beg to disagree.
Enjoy,
T.

Dr Thomas Conway
drt...@gmail.com
Silence is the perfectest herald of joy:
I were but little happy, if I could say how much.
_______________________________________________
HaskellCafe mailing list
Haskel...@haskell.org
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskellcafe
:)
And he's patented it...
http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5355496description.html
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
A method and system for process expression and resolution is described. A
first language structure comprising a possibility expression having at least
one definition which is inherently and generally concurrent is provided.
Further, a second language structure comprising an actuality expression
including a fully formed input data name to be resolved is provided.
Furthermore, a third language structure comprising an active expression
initially having at least one invocation, the invocation comprising an
association with a particular definition and the fully formed input data name
of the actuality expression is provided. Subsequently, the process of resolving
invocations begins in the active expression with fully formed input data names
in relation to their associated definition to produce at least one or both of
the following: (1) an invocation with a fully formed input data name and (2) a
result data name.
Interesting...
 Don
Clearly a winner then. :)
T.

Dr Thomas Conway
drt...@gmail.com
Silence is the perfectest herald of joy:
I were but little happy, if I could say how much.
I wouldn't want to comment on the validity of his claim, maybe he's wrong, or
maybe he's... well, anyway... what I will say is I got a chuckle out of
the 'Citations' that Amazon lists.
I especially like it that Mr. Fant's book is apparently cited in 'The
Essential Guide to Psychiatric Drugs: Includes The Most Recent Information
On: Antidepressants, Tranquilizers and Antianxiety Drugs,
Antipsychotics, ...'
I shudder to think of the creative processes involved in the creation of the
book.
> I wouldn't want to comment on the validity of his claim, maybe he's wrong, or
> maybe he's... well, anyway... what I will say is I got a chuckle out of
> the 'Citations' that Amazon lists.
As amusing as that thought is, it seems that this is regrettably an
error on Amazon's part. After looking at the actual page images where
the alleged citations occur, there is nowhere any mention of this
book. (How could there be? It was just published.)
It looks like Amazon's citation database is mistakenly using the index
for the book _Beating Depression_ by John Rush (Toronto: John Wiley &
Sons, Canada Ltd., 1983).
Steve
Yes it is so. Amazon.com mistakenly thinks that the given book is a
new edition of the book titled "beating depression".
Amazon also links hardcover and softcover editions of "beating
depression" just below where the price and availability of the book is
mentioned.
Regards
I like his concept that:
"concurrency is simple and primitive and sequentiality is a complex and risky
derivative of concurrency."
Can someone remind me why, in a language like Haskell that is referentially
transparent and therefore inherently 'concurrent', we need explicit
concurrency (threads, etc.) ?
titto
On 9 Jul 2007, at 06:42, Thomas Conway wrote:
> I don't know if you saw the following linked off /.
>
> http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/13339/53/
[..]
> The basic claim appears to be that discrete mathematics is a bad
> foundation for computer science. I suspect the subscribers to this
> list would beg to disagree.
It's true that some systems are better characterised as corecursive
"coprograms", rather than as recursive "programs". This is not a
popular or wellunderstood distinction. In my career as an advocate
for total programming (in some carefully delineated fragment of a
language) I have many times been gotcha'ed thus: "but an operating
system is a program which isn't supposed to terminate". No, an
operating system is supposed to remain responsive. And that's what
total coprograms do.
By the looks of this article, the program versus coprogram distinction
seems to have occasioned an unprecedented degree of existential angst
for this individual.
Even so, I'd say that it's worth raising awareness of it. Haskell's
identification of inductive data with coinductive data, however well
motivated, has allowed people to be lazy. People aren't so likely to
be thinking "do I mean inductive or coinductive here?", "is this
function productive?" etc. The usual style is to write as if
everything is inductive, and if it still works on infinite data, to
pat ourselves on the back for using Haskell rather than ML. I'm
certainly guilty of that.
I'd go as far as to suggest that "codata" be made a keyword, at
present doubling for "data", but with the documentary purpose of
indicating that a different mode of (co)programming is in order. It
might also be the basis of better warnings, optimisations, etc.
Moreover, it becomes a necessary distinction if we ever need
to identify a total fragment of Haskell. Overkill, perhaps, but
I often find it's something I want to express.
Just a thought
Conor
I read that earlier and his comments, such as
"This concept of 'process expression' is, he says, a common thread
running through the various disciplines of computer science",
made me think of arrows and category theory.
And I wonder what kind of aberration a montecarlo algorithm would be if
this excerpt is to be taken seriously:
"Any program utilising random input to carry out its process, such...is
not an algorithm."
Cheers,
Asumu Takikawa
Wearing my tin foil hat for the moment, I think that there is a
conspiracy by some computer scientists to drive a wedge between
mathematicians and computer scientists. You can see hints of it in
many places where both mathematicians and computer scientists hang out
and there have been quite a few recent articles setting up mathematics
and computer science as somehow in competition with each other.
Many of the structures studied by mathematicians are algebraic. Many
of the structures studied by computer scientists are coalgebraic (eg.
the web itself can be seen as a vast coalgebraic structure). Sometimes
I wonder if the only difference between mathematicians and computer
scientists is the direction of their arrows.
Erm... Wait a sec... coroutines, comonads, coprograms, codata... what in
the name of goodness does "co" actually *mean* anyway??
Nothing.
When mathematicians find a new thing completely unlike an OldThing, but
related by some symmetry, they often call the new thing a CoOldThing.
Data can only be constructed using constructors, but can be
deconstructed using recursive folds;
Codata can only be deconstructed using case analysis, but can be
constructed using recursive unfolds.
Monads keep things inside.
Comonads keep things outside.
Homology theory studies the boundaries of shapes.
Cohomology theory studies the insides of curves.
..
Stefan
Okay Mr. Piponi, as a math geek I can't let that comment about the web slide
without further explanation. Is it just the idea that coalgebras can
capture the idea of side affects (a > F a) or is there something more
specific that you're thinking of?
I'm sorry, but can you expand a little further on this? I guess I don't
understand how a corecursion => responsive to input but not terminating.
Where does the idea of waiting for input fit into corecursion?
First a quick bit of background on algebras.
If F is a functor, an Falgebra is an arrow FX>X. For example if we
choose FX = 1+X+X^2 (using + to mean disjoint union) then an Falgebra
is a function 1+X+X^2>X. The 1>X part just picks out a constant, the
image of 1. The X^2>X defines a binary operator and the X>X part is
an endomorphism. A group has a constant element (the identity) an
endomorphism (the inverse) and a binary operator (multiplication). So
a group is an example of an Falgebra (with some extra equations added
in so a group isn't *just* an Fcoalgebra).
A Fcoalgebra is an arrow X>FX. As an example, let's pick
FX=(String,[X]). So an Fcoalgebra is a function X>(String,[X]). We
can view this as two functions, 'appearance' of type X>String and
'links' of type X>[X]. If X is the type of web pages, then interpret
'appearance' as the rendering (as plain text) of the web page and
links as the function that gives a list of links in the page. So the
web forms a coalgebra. (Though you'll need some extra work to deal
with persistent state like cookies.)
The theme is that mathematicians often like to study objects with some
kind of 'combination' operation like (generalised) addition or
multiplication. These form algebras with maps FX>X. Computer
scientists often like to study things that generate more stuff (eg.
when you press a button or input something). So you end up with
something of the form X>FX. This includes many familiar things like
web pages, state machines and formal languages. This isn't a sharp
divide (of course) but I think it reflects a real difference in
emphasis.
A great source for this stuff is the book 'Vicious Circles' by Barwise
and Moss. It's full of computer sciencey stuff but it seems to be
written for an audience that includes mathematicians and computer
scientists. (It has quite a few typos and more serious errors
however.)
..wooooosh...
..and now I know what normal people must feel like when *I* open my
mouth. o_O
..so it's similar to the term "normal"?
As in
Normal vector  a vector having unit length.
Normal distribution  a common monomodal distribution following a
characterstic Gaussian bell curve.
Normal subgroup  a subset of a group such that all elements of it
commute with the all elements of the whole group.
..
(I got lost somewhere with the levels of quotation there...)
It's more specific than this. Coalgebra, cohomology, codata, comonads
and so on derive their name from the fact that they can be described
using category theory. In category theory you draw lots of diagrams
with arrows in them. When you flip all the arrows round you get a
description of something else. Pairs of concepts connected in this way
often differ by the prefix "co". Often theorems you prove about
objects have analogous theorems about the respective coobjects. In
fact, often the proof is the same, just written with all the arrows
pointing the other way.
This carries over to Haskell too. You can sometimes write functional
(as in useful) code simply by taking an already existing piece of code
and figuring out what flipping the arrows means. It often means
something very different, but it still makes sense. A really cool
example is the relationship between fold and unfold. But I'll leave
that for someone else.

Dan
Sounds a lot like the Boolean duality principle. (If a statement works
one way, if you flip all the true/false and/or stuff, you get a brand
new statement, which also works.)
That is, in fact, very closely related.

Dan
Quoting Stefan O'Rear <stef...@cox.net>:
> Data can only be constructed using constructors, but can be
> deconstructed [...]
You mean "nstructed".
Now if you'l excuse me, I'm off to write some "de".
Cheers,
Andrew Bromage
Ah, everyone's a median ;)
Cheers,
Dougal.
Whoops! Only just spotted this. Many apologies.
On 10 Jul 2007, at 20:35, Creighton Hogg wrote:
> Me:
> > No, an
> > operating system is supposed to remain responsive. And that's what
> > total coprograms do.
>
> I'm sorry, but can you expand a little further on this? I guess I
> don't understand how a corecursion => responsive to input but not
> terminating. Where does the idea of waiting for input fit into
> corecursion?
>
You'll be needing a bit of higherorder corecursion for that.
Here's a coprogram for haskellcafe:
> data{codata} Punter = Speak String (String > Punter)
A Punter is guaranteed to ask a question, and whatever answer you give
them, they've always got another question, forever! Meanwhile, a
String > Punter is a goodnatured soul, always up for answering
questions.
Hence haskellcafe is a productive coprogram(*) producing a stream of
questions
and answers!
> data{codata} Stream x = x :> (Stream x)
> cafe :: Punter > (String > Punter) > Stream (String, String)
> cafe (Speak question learn) guru =
> let Speak answer guru' = guru question
> in (question, answer) :> (cafe (learn answer) guru')
All the best
Conor
(*) and yes, I know what that means in Greek...
If the Punter asks the appropriate question, perhaps the guru will spend
the rest of time thinking about an answer.
On 16 Jul 2007, at 02:48, Derek Elkins wrote:
> On Mon, 20070716 at 02:29 +0100, Conor McBride wrote:
>> Hi
>>
>>> data{codata} Punter = Speak String (String > Punter)
>>
[..]
>>
>>> data{codata} Stream x = x :> (Stream x)
>>
>>> cafe :: Punter > (String > Punter) > Stream (String, String)
>>> cafe (Speak question learn) guru =
>>> let Speak answer guru' = guru question
>>> in (question, answer) :> (cafe (learn answer) guru')
>
> If the Punter asks the appropriate question, perhaps the guru will
> spend
> the rest of time thinking about an answer.
It's true that answers can take a while, but not forever if the guru is
also a productive coprogram. In more realistic examples, mere
productivity
might not be enough: you might want to be sure that questions will
eventually be answered, after some initial segment of "busy" responses.
To that end, an exercise. Implement a codata type
data{codata} Mux x y = ...
which intersperses x's and y's in such a way that
(1) an initial segment of a Mux does not determine whether the next
element is an x or a y (ie, no forced *pattern* of alternation)
(2) there are productive coprograms
demuxL :: Mux x y > Stream x
demuxR :: Mux x y > Stream y
(ie, alternation is none the less forced)
You may need to introduce some (inductive) data to achieve this. If you
always think "always", then you need codata, but if you eventually think
"eventually", you need data.
All the best
Conor
 Spoiler warning: significant λs follow 
A very interesting exercise! Here's a solution:
 lists with at least one element
data List1 x = One x  Cons x (List1 x)
append :: List1 x > Stream x > Stream x
append (One x) ys = x :> ys
append (Cons x xs) ys = x :> prepend xs ys
 stream of alternating runs of xs and ys
codata Mix x y = Stream (List1 x, List1 y)
demixL ((xs,ys) :> xys) = xs `append` demixL xys
demixR ((xs,ys) :> xys) = ys `append` demixR xys
 remove xbias
codata Mux x y = Either (Mix x y) (Mix y x)
demuxL (Left xys) = demixL xys
demuxL (Right yxs) = demixR yxs
demuxR (Left xys) = demixR xys
demuxR (Right yxs) = demixL yxs
A nonsolution would simply be the pair (Stream x, Stream y), but this
doesn't capture the order in which xs and ys interleave. I think this
can be formalized with the obvious operations
consL :: x > Mux x y > Mux x y
consR :: y > Mux x y > Mux x y
by requiring that they don't commute
consL x . consR y ≠ consR y . consL x
Or rather, one should require that the observation
observe :: Mux x y > Stream (Either x y)
respects consL and consR:
observe . consL x = (Left x :>)
observe . consR y = (Right y :>)
Regards,
apfelmus
> To that end, an exercise. Implement a codata type
>
> data{codata} Mux x y = ...
>
> which intersperses x's and y's in such a way that
>
> (1) an initial segment of a Mux does not determine whether the next
> element is an x or a y (ie, no forced *pattern* of alternation)
>
> (2) there are productive coprograms
>
> demuxL :: Mux x y > Stream x
> demuxR :: Mux x y > Stream y
>
> (ie, alternation is none the less forced)
>
> You may need to introduce some (inductive) data to achieve this. If
> you
> always think "always", then you need codata, but if you eventually
> think
> "eventually", you need data.
I came up with:
data Stream a = ConsS a (Stream a)  CODATA
data Mux a b = Mux (L a b) (R a b) (Mux a b)  CODATA
data L a b = LL a  LR b (L a b)
data R a b = RL a (R a b)  RR b
lastL :: L a b > a
lastL (LL x) = x
lastL (LR y l) = lastL l
initL :: L a b > Stream b > Stream b
initL (LL x) = id
initL (LR y l) = ConsS y . initL l
lastR :: R a b > b
lastR (RL x r) = lastR r
lastR (RR y) = y
initR :: R a b > Stream a > Stream a
initR (RL x r) = ConsS x . initR r
initR (RR y) = id
demuxL :: Mux a b > Stream a
demuxL (Mux l r m) = ConsS (lastL l) (initR r (demuxL m))
demuxR :: Mux a b > Stream b
demuxR (Mux l r m) = initL l (ConsS (lastR r) (demuxR m))
Cheers,
Stefan
> I came up with [...]
apfelmus' solution is of course more elegant, but I guess it boils
down to the same basic idea.
> I wrote:
>
>> I came up with [...]
>
> apfelmus' solution is of course more elegant, but I guess it boils
> down to the same basic idea.
Yep, you need inductive data to guarantee that you eventually stop
spitting out one sort of thing and flip over to the other. Here's my
version.
Mux...
> data{codata} Mux x y = Mux (Muy x y)
..is defined by mutual induction with...
> data Muy x y = y : Muy x y  x :~ Mux y x
..which guarantees that we will get more x, despite the odd y
in the way. It's inductively defined, so we can't (y :) forever;
we must eventually (x :~), then flip over. So,
> demuxL :: Mux x y > Stream x
> demuxL (Mux muy) =
> let (x, mux) = skipper muy
> in x :> demuxR mux
is productive, given this helper function
> skipper :: Muy x y > (x, Mux y x)
> skipper (y : muy) = skipper muy
> skipper (x :~ mux) = (x, mux)
which is just plain structural recursion. Once we've got out x,
we carry on with a Mux y x, flipping round the obligation to
ensure that we don't stick with x forever. To carry on getting
xs out...
> demuxR :: Mux y x > Stream x
> demuxR (Mux (x : muy)) = x :> demuxR (Mux muy)
> demuxR (Mux (y :~ mux)) = demuxL mux
..just pass them as they come, then flip back when the y arrives.
Apfelmus, thanks for
 Or rather, one should require that the observation

 observe :: Mux x y > Stream (Either x y)

 respects consL and consR:

 observe . consL x = (Left x :>)
 observe . consR y = (Right y :>)
which is a very nice way to clean up my waffly spec.
I rather like this peculiar world of mixed coinductive and inductive
definitions. I haven't really got a feel for it yet, but I'm glad I've
been introduced to its rich sources of amusement and distraction, as
well as its potential utility. (My colleague, Peter Hancock, is the
culprit; also the man with the plan. For more, google
Peter Hancock eating streams
and poke about.)
Cheers for now
Conor
As an inductive data type, isn't this empty?