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Categories, Types, and Structures
by Andrea Asperti, Giuseppe Longo

Publisher: MIT Press 1991
ISBN/ASIN: 0262011255
ISBN-13: 9780262011259
Number of pages: 300

The main methodological connection between programming language theory and category theory is the fact that both theories are essentially "theories of functions." A crucial point, though, is that the categorical notion of morphism generalizes the set-theoretical description of function in a very broad sense, which provides a unified understanding of various aspects of the theory of programs. This book is mostly inspired by this specific methodological connection and its applications to the theory of programming languages. More precisely, as expressed by the subtitle, it aims at a self-contained introduction to general category theory (part I) and at a categorical understanding of the mathematical structures that constituted the theoretical background of relevant areas of language design (part II). The impact on functional programming, for example, of the mathematical tools described in part II, is well known, as it ranges from the early dialects of Lisp, to Edinburgh ML, to the current work in polymorphisms and modularity. Other applications, such as CAML, which will be described, use categorical formalization for the purposes of implementation.

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