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Concept# Monad (category theory)

Summary

In , a branch of mathematics, a monad (also triple, triad, standard construction and fundamental construction) is a in the of endofunctors of some fixed category. An endofunctor is a functor mapping a category to itself, and a monad is an endofunctor together with two natural transformations required to fulfill certain coherence conditions. Monads are used in the theory of pairs of adjoint functors, and they generalize closure operators on partially ordered sets to arbitrary categories. Monads are also useful in the theory of datatypes, the denotational semantics of imperative programming languages, and in functional programming languages, allowing languages with non-mutable states to do things such as simulate for-loops; see Monad (functional programming).
A monad is a certain type of endofunctor. For example, if and are a pair of adjoint functors, with left adjoint to , then the composition is a monad. If and are inverse functors, the corresponding monad is the identity functor. In general, adjunctions are not equivalences—they relate categories of different natures. The monad theory matters as part of the effort to capture what it is that adjunctions 'preserve'. The other half of the theory, of what can be learned likewise from consideration of , is discussed under the dual theory of comonads.
Throughout this article denotes a . A monad on consists of an endofunctor together with two natural transformations: (where denotes the identity functor on ) and (where is the functor from to ). These are required to fulfill the following conditions (sometimes called coherence conditions):
(as natural transformations ); here and are formed by "horizontal composition"
(as natural transformations ; here denotes the identity transformation from to ).
We can rewrite these conditions using the following commutative diagrams:
See the article on natural transformations for the explanation of the notations and , or see below the commutative diagrams not using these notions:
The first axiom is akin to the associativity in if we think of as the monoid's binary operation, and the second axiom is akin to the existence of an identity element (which we think of as given by ).

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Related concepts (27)

Monad (category theory)

In , a branch of mathematics, a monad (also triple, triad, standard construction and fundamental construction) is a in the of endofunctors of some fixed category. An endofunctor is a functor mapping a category to itself, and a monad is an endofunctor together with two natural transformations required to fulfill certain coherence conditions. Monads are used in the theory of pairs of adjoint functors, and they generalize closure operators on partially ordered sets to arbitrary categories.

Algebra

Algebra () is the study of variables and the rules for manipulating these variables in formulas; it is a unifying thread of almost all of mathematics. Elementary algebra deals with the manipulation of variables (commonly represented by Roman letters) as if they were numbers and is therefore essential in all applications of mathematics. Abstract algebra is the name given, mostly in education, to the study of algebraic structures such as groups, rings, and fields.

Variety (universal algebra)

In universal algebra, a variety of algebras or equational class is the class of all algebraic structures of a given signature satisfying a given set of identities. For example, the groups form a variety of algebras, as do the abelian groups, the rings, the monoids etc. According to Birkhoff's theorem, a class of algebraic structures of the same signature is a variety if and only if it is closed under the taking of homomorphic images, subalgebras, and (direct) products.

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