Totalising Partial Algebras
Teams and Splinters
We will examine totalising a partial operation in a general algebra by using an absorbtive element, bottom, such as an error flag. We then focus on the simplest example of a partial operation, namely subtraction on the natural numbers: n - m is undefined whenever n < m. We examine the use of bottom in algebraic structures for the natural numbers, especially semigroups and semirings. We axiomatise this totalisation process and introduce the algebraic concept of a team, being an additive cancellative semigroup with totalised subtraction. Also, with the natural numbers in mind, we introduce the property of being generated by an iterative function, which we call a splinter. We prove a number of theorems about the algebraic specification of datatypes of natural numbers.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Jan Aldert Bergstra, John V. Tucker
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