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Symmetric monoidal theories (SMTs) generalise algebraic theories in a way that make them suitable to express resource-sensitive systems, in which variables cannot be copied or discarded at will. In SMTs, traditional tree-like terms are replaced by string diagrams, topological entities that can be intuitively thought of as diagrams of wires and boxes. Recently, string diagrams have become increasingly popular as a graphical syntax to reason about computational models across diverse fields, including programming language semantics, circuit theory, quantum mechanics, linguistics, and control theory. In applications, it is often convenient to implement the equations appearing in SMTs as rewriting rules. This poses the challenge of extending the traditional theory of term rewriting, which has been developed for algebraic theories, to string diagrams. In this paper, we develop a mathematical theory of string diagram rewriting for SMTs. Our approach exploits the correspondence between string diagram rewriting and double pushout (DPO) rewriting of certain graphs, introduced in the first paper of this series. Such a correspondence is only sound when the SMT includes a Frobenius algebra structure. In the present work, we show how an analogous correspondence may be established for arbitrary SMTs, once an appropriate notion of DPO rewriting (which we call convex) is identified. As proof of concept, we use our approach to show termination of two SMTs of interest: Frobenius semi-algebras and bialgebras.
In this paper, we address the problem of proving confluence for string diagram rewriting, which was previously shown to be characterised combinatorially as double-pushout rewriting with interfaces (DPOI) on (labelled) hypergraphs. For standard DPO rewriting without interfaces, confluence for terminating rewriting systems is, in general, undecidable. Nevertheless, we show here that confluence for DPOI, and hence string diagram rewriting, is decidable. We apply this result to give effective procedures for deciding local confluence of symmetric monoidal theories with and without Frobenius structure by critical pair analysis. For the latter, we introduce the new notion of path joinability for critical pairs, which enables finitely many joins of a critical pair to be lifted to an arbitrary context in spite of the strong non-local constraints placed on rewriting in a generic symmetric monoidal theory.
We generalise both the notion of a non-sequential process and the unfolding construction (which was previously developed for concrete formalisms such as Petri nets and graph grammars) to the abstract setting of (single pushout) rewriting of objects in adhesive categories. The main results show that processes are in one-to-one correspondence with switch-equivalent classes of derivations, and that the unfolding construction can be characterised as a coreflection, that is, the unfolding functor arises as the right adjoint to the embedding of the category of occurrence grammars into the category of grammars.
As the unfolding represents potentially infinite computations, we need to work in adhesive categories with ‘well-behaved’ colimits of ω-chains of monos. Compared with previous work on the unfolding of Petri nets and graph grammars, our results apply to a wider class of systems, which is due to the use of a refined notion of grammar morphism.
We introduce adhesive categories, which are
categories with structure ensuring that pushouts along monomorphisms
are well-behaved, as well as quasiadhesive categories which
restrict attention to regular monomorphisms.
Many examples of graphical structures used in computer
science are shown to be examples of adhesive and quasiadhesive
categories. Double-pushout graph rewriting generalizes well to
rewriting on arbitrary adhesive and quasiadhesive categories.
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