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Functional programmers love to steal ideas from mathematics. Perhaps the best example of this is the venerable monoid, a concept from abstract algebra. But what about other algebraic structures? Semigroups and semilattices, related to monoids and beloved by mathematicians, are also ripe for use by programmers. We will explore these abstractions, their uses, and familiar concretions that fit. We’ll also look at the trade-off that helps us choose which is the right algebraic structure for the job.
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