[Haskell-cafe] FGL custom node identification (Label -> Node lookup)

Ivan Lazar Miljenovic ivan.miljenovic at gmail.com
Thu Nov 24 10:48:50 CET 2011

On 24 November 2011 20:42, Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
<ivan.miljenovic at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 24 November 2011 20:33, Thomas DuBuisson <thomas.dubuisson at gmail.com> wrote:
>> All,
>> The containers library has a somewhat primitive but certainly useful
>> Data.Graph library.  Building a graph with this library simultaneously
>> results in the lookup functions:
>>   m1 :: Vertex -> (node, key, [key])
>>   m2 :: key -> Maybe Vertex
>> (where 'key' is like FGL's 'label' but is assumed to be unique)
>> This is exactly what I wanted when building and analyzing a call graph
>> in FGL.  To that end, I started making a graph type that tracked label
>> to Node mappings, wrapping Data.Graph.Inductive.Gr,  and assuming the
>> labels are all unique.
>> The classes for such a graph actually aren't possible.  The ability to
>> build a mapping from a node's 'label' to the 'Node' requires extra
>> context (ex: Hashable, Ord, or at least Eq), but such context can not
>> be provided due to the typeclass construction.
>> Is there any chance we can change the Graph and DiaGraph classes to
>> expose the type variables 'a' and 'b'?
>>    class Graph gr a b where ...
>>    class (Graph gr) => DynGraph gr a b where ...
>> This would allow instances to provide the needed context:
>>    instance (Hashable a, Hashable b) => Graph UniqueLabel a b where
>>          ...
>>          buildGraph = ... some use of containers libraries that
>> require context ...
>>          ...
>>    lookupNode :: Hashable a => UniqueLabel a b -> a -> Node
>>    -- etc
>> Cheers,
>> Thomas
>> P.S.  Please do educate me if I simply missed or misunderstood some
>> feature of FGL.
> Well, there *is* the NodeMap module, but I haven't really used it so
> I'm not sure if it does what you want.
> We did start upon a version of FGL which had these type variables in
> the class, but it got a little fiddly; the ability to have superclass
> constraints should solve this but I haven't touched FGL for a while,
> as I've been working on some other graph library code for planar
> graphs, with the plan to take my experience from writing this library
> into a "successor" to FGL.
> However, my experience with designing this planar graph library has
> led me to using abstract (i.e. non-exported constructor) ID types for
> nodes and edges and finding them rather useful, but then I'm more
> concerned about the _structure_ of the graph rather than the items
> stored within it.  As such, I'd appreciate you explaining to me
> (off-list is OK) why you want/need such a label -> node mapping so
> that I can try and work out a way to incorporate such functionality.

To be more clear: we wanted superclass constraints because we had the
main classes be of kind * with associated-types for the node and edge
labels (which could possibly just be `()'); but to be able to do
mapping over the nodes and edges we needed to be able to specify a
mapping from "(g a b)" to "g a b" (where g is of kind * -> * -> *).

Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
Ivan.Miljenovic at gmail.com

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