# nLab strong dinatural transformation

## Idea

A strong dinatural transformation is a notion of natural transformation between two functors $C^{op}\times C\to D$ that is stronger than a dinatural transformation.

Unlike dinatural transformations, strong dinatural transformations can always be composed. They have close connections to parametricity in computer science.

## Definition

Let $F,G:C^{op}\times C\to D$ be functors. A strong dinatural transformation $\alpha :F\to G$ consists of, for each $c\in C$, a component $\alpha_c : F(c,c) \to G(c,c)$, such that for any morphism $f:c\to c'$ in $C$ and any span $F(c',c') \leftarrow W \to F(c,c)$ in $D$, if the square on the left commutes, then the outer hexagon also commutes:

$\begin{array}{ccccccc} & & F(c,c) & \overset{\alpha_{c}}{\to} & G(c,c)\\ & \nearrow & & \overset{\mathclap{F(c,f)}}{\searrow} & & \overset{\mathclap{G(c,f)}}{\searrow}\\ W & & & & F(c,c') & & G(c,c')\\ & \searrow & & \underset{\mathclap{F(f,c')}}{\nearrow} & & \underset{\mathclap{G(f,c')}}{\nearrow}\\ & & F(c',c') & \underset{\alpha_{c'}}{\to} & G(c',c') \end{array}\,.$

If the pullback $F(c,c) \times_{F(c,c')} F(c',c')$ exists in $D$, it suffices to assert this when the square on the left is the defining one of that pullback. On the other hand, if $D$ has a separator (such as $1\in Set$), it suffices to assert this when $W$ is the separator.

By comparison, a dinatural transformation asserts this condition only when $W = F(c',c)$ with the span consisting of $F(c',f)$ and $F(f,c)$.

## References

Originally introduced (as strong dinatural transformations) in Definition 2.7 of

• Philip S. Mulry?, Strong Monads, Algebras and Fixed Points (1991), in: Applications of Categories in Computer Science, London Mathematical Society Lecture Note Series 177, 202–216, doi.

Further developments:

• Philip S Mulry. Strong monads, algebras and fixed points. Applications of Categories in Computer Science 177 (1992), 202–216

• Robert Paré and Leopoldo Román. Dinatural numbers. Journal of Pure and Applied Algebra 128, 1 (1998), 33–92

• A. Eppendahl, Parametricity and Mulry’s Strong Dinaturality, https://qmro.qmul.ac.uk/xmlui/bitstream/handle/123456789/4501/768_Eppendahl_12-1999.pdf?sequence=1

• Varmo Vene. Parametricity and Strong Dinaturality. (2006). https://www.ioc.ee/~tarmo/tday-voore/vene-slides.pdf

• Jennifer Hackett and Graham Hutton. Programs for cheap!. In 2015 30th Annual ACM/IEEE Symposium on Logic in Computer Science. IEEE, 115–126.

• Tarmo Uustalu. Strong dinaturality and initial algebras. 12th Nordic Wksh. on Programming Theory, NWPT 2 (2000).

• Tarmo Uustalu. A Note on Strong Dinaturality, Initial Algebras and Uniform Parameterized Fixpoint Operators. In FICS. 77–82.

Strong dinatural transformations are called paranatural transformations in:

Last revised on October 27, 2023 at 22:29:46. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.