Condition/Decision Duality and the Internal Logic of Extensive Restriction Categories

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Abstract

In flowchart languages, predicates play an interesting double role. In the textual representation, they are often presented as conditions, i.e., expressions which are easily combined with other conditions (often via Boolean combinators) to form new conditions, though they only play a supporting role in aiding branching statements choose a branch to follow. On the other hand, in the graphical representation they are typically presented as decisions, intrinsically capable of directing control flow yet mostly oblivious to Boolean combination. While categorical treatments of flowchart languages are abundant, none of them provide a treatment of this dual nature of predicates. In the present paper, we argue that extensive restriction categories are precisely categories that capture such a condition/decision duality, by means of morphisms which, coincidentally, are also called decisions. Further, we show that having these categorical decisions amounts to having an internal logic: Analogous to how subobjects of an object in a topos form a Heyting algebra, we show that decisions on an object in an extensive restriction category form a De Morgan quasilattice, the algebraic structure associated with the (three-valued) weak Kleene logic K3w . Full classical propositional logic can be recovered by restricting to total decisions, yielding extensive categories in the usual sense, and confirming (from a different direction) a result from effectus theory that predicates on objects in extensive categories form Boolean algebras. As an application, since (categorical) decisions are partial isomorphisms, this approach provides naturally reversible models of classical propositional logic and weak Kleene logic.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMFPS 2019
Volume347
Publication date2019
Pages179-202
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Keywords

  • categorical logic
  • extensivity
  • flowchart languages
  • restriction categories
  • weak Kleene logic

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