The Category-Theoretic Solution of Recursive Metric-Space Equations
TR-2009-119, Authors: Lars Birkedal, Kristian Støvring and Jacob Thamsborg The Category-Theoretic Solution of Recursive Metric-Space Equations
It is well known that one can use an adaptation of the inverse-limit construction to solve recursive equations in the category of complete ultrametric spaces. We show that this construction generalizes to a large class of categories with metric-space structure on each set of morphisms: the exact nature of the objects is less important. In particular, the construction immediately applies to categories where the objects are ultrametric spaces with "extra structure", and where the morphisms preserve this extra structure. The generalization is inspired by classical domain-theoretic work by Smyth and Plotkin.
For many of the categories we consider, there is a natural subcategory in which each set of morphisms is required to be a compact metric space. Our setting allows for a proof that such a subcategory always inherits solutions of recursive equations from the full category.
As another application, we present a construction that relates solutions of generalized domain equations in the sense of Smyth and Plotkin to solutions of equations in our class of categories.
Our primary motivation for solving generalized recursive metric-space equations comes from recent and ongoing work on Kripke-style models in which the sets of worlds must be recursively defined. We show a series of examples motivated by this line of work.
Technical report TR-2009-119 in IT University Technical Report Series, August 2009.
Available as PDF.