Combining Probabilistic and Non-Deterministic Choice via Weak Distributive Laws


Combining probabilistic choice and non-determinism is a long standing problem in denotational semantics. From a category theory perspective, the problem stems from the absence of a distributive law of the powerset monad over the distribution monad. In this paper we prove the existence of a weak distributive law of the powerset monad over the finite distribution monad. As a consequence, we retrieve the well-known convex powerset monad as a weak lifting of the powerset monad to the category of convex algebras. We provide applications to the study of trace semantics and behavioral equivalences of systems with an interplay between probability and non-determinism.

Logic in Computer Science