7.6 Summary and further reading

7.6 Summary and further reading#

This chapter was about modeling various sorts of behavior using sheaves on a space of time-intervals. Behavior may seem like it’s something that occurs now in the present, but in fact our memory of past behavior informs what the current behavior means. In order to commit to anything, to plan or complete any sort of process, one needs to be able to reason over time-intervals. The nice thing about temporal sheaves—indeed sheaves on any site—is that they fit into a categorical structure called a topos, which has many useful formal properties. In particular, it comes equipped with a higher-order logic with which we can formally reason about how temporal sheaves work together when combined in larger systems. A much more detailed version of this story was presented in Temporal Type Theory. But it would have been impossible without the extensive edifice of topos theory and domain theory that has been developed over the past six decades.

Sheaf toposes were invented by Grothendieck and his school in the 1960s [AGV71] as an approach to proving conjectures at the intersection of algebraic geometry and number theory, called the Weil conjectures. Soon after, Lawvere and Tierney recognized that toposes had all the structure necessary to do logic, and with a whole host of other category theorists, the subject was developed to an impressive extent in many directions. For a much more complete history, see [McL90].

There are many sorts of references on topos theory. One that starts by introducing categories and then moves to toposes, focusing on logic, is [McL92]. Our favorite treatment is perhaps [MM92], where the geometric aspects play a central role. Finally, Johnstone has done the field a huge favor by collecting large amounts of the theory into a single two-volume set [Joh02]; it is very dense, but an essential reference for the serious student or researcher. For just categorical (Kripke-Joyal) semantics of logic in a topos, one should see either [MM92], [Jac99], or [LS88].

We did not mention domain theory much in this chapter, aside from referring to the interval domain. But domains, in the sense of Dana Scott, play an important role in the deeper aspects of temporal type theory. A good reference is [Gie+03], but for an introduction we suggest [AJ94].

See also Domain theory.

In some sense our application area has been a very general sort of dynamical system. Other categorical approaches to this subject include [JNW96], [HTP03], [AS05], and [Law86], though there are many others.

We hope you have enjoyed the seven sketches in this book. As a next step, consider running a reading course on applied category theory with some friends or colleagues. Simultaneously, we hope you begin to search out categorical ways of thinking about familiar subjects. Perhaps you’ll find something you want to contribute to this growing field of applied category theory, or as we sometimes call it, the field of compositionality.