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Discrete Relations

This is the Relations.Discrete module of the Agda Universal Algebra Library.

{-# OPTIONS --without-K --exact-split --safe #-}

module Relations.Discrete where

open import Overture.Lifts public

Unary relations

In set theory, given two sets A and P, we say that P is a subset of A, and we write P ⊆ A, just in case ∀ x (x ∈ P → x ∈ A). We need a mechanism for representing this notion in Agda. A typical approach is to use a predicate type, denoted by Pred.

Given two universes 𝓤 𝓦 and a type A : 𝓤 ̇, the type Pred A 𝓦 represents properties that inhabitants of type A may or may not satisfy. We write P : Pred A 𝓤 to represent the semantic concept of the collection of inhabitants of A that satisfy (or belong to) P. Here is the definition.1

Pred : 𝓤 ̇  (𝓦 : Universe)  𝓤  𝓦  ̇
Pred A 𝓦 = A  𝓦 ̇

Later we consider predicates over the class of algebras in a given signature. In the Algebras module we will define the type Algebra 𝓤 𝑆 of 𝑆-algebras with domain type 𝓤 ̇, and the type Pred (Algebra 𝓤 𝑆) 𝓤, will represent classes of 𝑆-algebras with certain properties.

Membership and inclusion relations

Like the Agda Standard Library, the UALib includes types that represent the element inclusion and subset inclusion relations from set theory. For example, given a predicate P, we may represent that “x belongs to P” or that “x has property P,” by writing either x ∈ P or P x. The definition of is standard. Nonetheless, here it is.1

_∈_ : {A : 𝓤 ̇}  A  Pred A 𝓦  𝓦 ̇
x  P = P x

The “subset” relation is denoted, as usual, with the symbol.1

_⊆_ : {A : 𝓤 ̇ }  Pred A 𝓦  Pred A 𝓩  𝓤  𝓦  𝓩 ̇
P  Q =  {x}  x  P  x  Q

infix 4 _⊆_

Predicates toolbox

Here is a small collection of tools that will come in handy later. The first is an inductive type representing disjoint union.2

infixr 1 _⊎_ _∪_

data _⊎_ (A : 𝓤 ̇) (B : 𝓦 ̇) : 𝓤  𝓦 ̇ where
 inj₁ : (x : A)  A  B
 inj₂ : (y : B)  A  B

And this can be used to represent union, as follows.

_∪_ : {A : 𝓤 ̇}  Pred A 𝓦  Pred A 𝓩  Pred A (𝓦  𝓩)
P  Q = λ x  x  P  x  Q

Next we define convenient notation for asserting that the image of a function (the first argument) is contained in a predicate (the second argument).

Im_⊆_ : {A : 𝓤 ̇}{B : 𝓦 ̇}  (A  B)  Pred B 𝓩  𝓤  𝓩 ̇
Im f  S =  x  f x  S

The empty set is naturally represented by the empty type, 𝟘.2, 4

open import Empty-Type using (𝟘)

 : {A : 𝓤 ̇}  Pred A 𝓤₀
 _ = 𝟘

Before closing our little predicates toolbox, let’s insert a type that provides a natural way to encode singletons.

{_} : {A : 𝓤 ̇}  A  Pred A _
 x  = x ≡_

Binary Relations

In set theory, a binary relation on a set A is simply a subset of the product A × A. As such, we could model such a relation as a (unary) predicate over the type A × A, or as a relation of type A → A → 𝓦 ̇ (for some universe 𝓦). Note, however, this is not the same as a unary predicate over the function type A → A since the latter has type (A → A) → 𝓦 ̇, while a binary relation should have type A → (A → 𝓦 ̇).

A generalization of the notion of binary relation is a relation from A to B, which we define first and treat binary relations on a single A as a special case.

REL : 𝓤 ̇  𝓦 ̇  (𝓩 : Universe)  𝓤  𝓦  𝓩  ̇
REL A B 𝓩 = A  B  𝓩 ̇

In the special case, where 𝓦 ≡ 𝓤 and B ≡ A, we have

Rel : 𝓤 ̇  (𝓩 : Universe)  𝓤  𝓩  ̇
Rel A 𝓩 = REL A A 𝓩


The kernel of f : A → B is defined informally by {(x , y) ∈ A × A : f x = f y}. This can be represented in type theory and Agda in a number of ways, each of which may be useful in a particular context. For example, we could define the kernel to be an inhabitant of a (binary) relation type, a (unary) predicate type, a (curried) Sigma type, or an (uncurried) Sigma type.

module _ {A : 𝓤 ̇}{B : 𝓦 ̇} where

 ker : (A  B)  Rel A 𝓦
 ker g x y = g x  g y

 kernel : (A  B)  Pred (A × A) 𝓦
 kernel g (x , y) = g x  g y

 ker-sigma : (A  B)  𝓤  𝓦 ̇
 ker-sigma g = Σ x  A , Σ y  A , g x  g y

 ker-sigma' : (A  B)  𝓤  𝓦 ̇
 ker-sigma' g = Σ (x , y)  (A × A) , g x  g y

Similarly, the identity relation (which is equivalent to the kernel of an injective function) can be represented using any one of the following four types.2

module _ {A : 𝓤 ̇ } where

 𝟎 : Rel A 𝓤
 𝟎 x y = x  y

 𝟎-pred : Pred (A × A) 𝓤
 𝟎-pred (x , y) = x  y

 𝟎-sigma : 𝓤 ̇
 𝟎-sigma = Σ x  A , Σ y  A , x  y

 𝟎-sigma' : 𝓤 ̇
 𝟎-sigma' = Σ (x , y)  (A × A) , x  y

The total relation over A, which in set theory is the full Cartesian product A × A, could be represented using the one-element type from the Unit-Type module of Type Topology, as follows.

 open import Unit-Type using (𝟙)

 𝟏 : Rel A 𝓤₀
 𝟏 a b = 𝟙


We define the following types representing implication for binary relations. (These are borrowed from the Agda Standard Library; we merely translate them into Type Topology/UALib notation.)

_on_ : {A : 𝓤 ̇}{B : 𝓦 ̇}{C : 𝓩 ̇}  (B  B  C)  (A  B)  (A  A  C)
R on g = λ x y  R (g x) (g y)

_⇒_ : {A : 𝓤 ̇}{B : 𝓦 ̇}  REL A B 𝓧  REL A B 𝓨  𝓤  𝓦  𝓧  𝓨 ̇
P  Q =  {i j}  P i j  Q i j

infixr 4 _⇒_

The _on_ and _⇒_ types combine to give a nice, general implication operation.

_=[_]⇒_ : {A : 𝓤 ̇}{B : 𝓦 ̇}  Rel A 𝓧  (A  B)  Rel B 𝓨  𝓤  𝓧  𝓨 ̇
P =[ g ]⇒ Q = P  (Q on g)

infixr 4 _=[_]⇒_

Operation type and compatibility

Notation. For consistency and readability, throughout the UALib we reserve two universe variables for special purposes. The first of these is 𝓞 which shall be reserved for types that represent operation symbols (see Algebras.Signatures). The second is 𝓥 which we reserve for types representing arities of relations or operations.

In the next subsection, we will define types that are useful for asserting and proving facts about compatibility of operations with relations, but first we need a general type with which to represent operations. Here is the definition, which we justify below.

--The type of operations
Op : 𝓥 ̇  𝓤 ̇  𝓤  𝓥 ̇
Op I A = (I  A)  A

The type Op encodes the arity of an operation as an arbitrary type I : 𝓥 ̇, which gives us a very general way to represent an operation as a function type with domain I → A (the type of “tuples”) and codomain A. For example, the I-ary projection operations on A are represented as inhabitants of the type Op I A as follows.

π : {I : 𝓥 ̇ } {A : 𝓤 ̇ }  I  Op I A
π i x = x i

Now suppose A and I are types and let 𝑓 : Op I and R : Rel A 𝓦 be an I-ary operation and a binary relation on A, respectively. We say 𝑓 and R are compatible and we write 𝑓 |: R just in case ∀ u v : I → A,

   Π i ꞉ I , R (u i) (v i)     R (f u) (f v).6

Here is how we implement this in the UALib.

eval-rel : {A : 𝓤 ̇}{I : 𝓥 ̇}  Rel A 𝓦  Rel (I  A)(𝓥  𝓦)
eval-rel R u v = Π i  _ , R (u i) (v i)

_|:_ : {A : 𝓤 ̇}{I : 𝓥 ̇}  Op I A  Rel A 𝓦  𝓤  𝓥  𝓦 ̇
f |: R  = (eval-rel R) =[ f ]⇒ R

The function eval-rel “lifts” a binary relation to the corresponding I-ary relation.5

In case it helps the reader, we note that instead of using the slick implication notation, we could have defined the |: relation more explicitly, like so.

compatible-fun : {A : 𝓤 ̇}{I : 𝓥 ̇}  (f : Op I A)(R : Rel A 𝓦)  𝓤  𝓥  𝓦 ̇
compatible-fun f R  =  u v  (eval-rel R) u v  R (f u) (f v)

However, this is a rare case in which the more elegant syntax used to define |: sometimes results in simpler proofs when applying the definition. (See, for example, compatible-term in the Terms.Operations module.)

1 cf. Relation/Unary.agda in the Agda Standard Library.

2 Unicode Hints (agda2-mode) \.=, \u+, \b0𝟘, \B0𝟎.

3Agda also has a postulate mechanism that we could use, but this would require omitting the --safe pragma from the OPTIONS directive at the start of the module.

4The empty type is defined in the Empty-Type module of Type Topology as an inductive type with no constructors: data 𝟘 {𝓤} : 𝓤 ̇ where -- (empty body)

5Initially we called the first function lift-rel because it “lifts” a binary relation on A to a binary relation on tuples of type I → A. However, we renamed it eval-rel to avoid confusion with the universe level Lift type defined in the Overture.Lifts module, or with free-lift (Terms.Basic) which “lifts” a map defined on generators to a map on the thing being generated.

6 The symbol |: we use to denote the compatibility relation comes from Cliff Bergman’s universal algebra textbook Bergman (2012).

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