Dimensional analysis with fundeps

John.Velman@HSC.com John.Velman@HSC.com
Mon, 9 Apr 2001 16:03:55 -0700

1) What is a fundep?

2)  This is a very interesting topic, and rather complex.  It
has come up (dimensions, units, -- not Haskell implementations
of them) in some recent work on STEP (ISO 10303).  I'm only
now trying to come up to some speed on Haskell, and only now
trying to recall what I used to know about the algebra of units
and dimensions, so I'm not really prepared to comment deeply
on this suggestion.  However, I'd suggest that someone have a
good long look at "An Ontology for Engineering Mathematics"
(available at http://www-ksl.stanford.edu/KSL_Abstracts/KSL-94-18.html)
(or similar work) before building anything in to standard libraries.

John Velman

Tom Pledger <Tom.Pledger@peace.com>@haskell.org on 04/09/2001 02:48:48 PM

Sent by:  haskell-admin@haskell.org

To:    anatoli <anatoli@yahoo.com>, haskell@haskell.org

Subject:  Dimensional analysis with fundeps

I like it!

 | 3) Allow arbitrary user-defined "fundamental" dimensions
 |    (for things like dollars or radians) -- this may be
 |    very tricky;
 | 4) Allow several unit systems (such as SI and Imperial)
 |    to coexist.

Some suggestions/quibbles...

If you clearly make the type system deal with dimensions rather than
units, there's no problem with plugging in multiple unit systems.  You
just have to pick a scale for the representation.

    newtype Dimensioned mass length time rep = Dimensioned rep

    type Mass rep = Dimensioned One Zero Zero rep

    kg, lb :: Num a => Mass a
    kg = dm 1
    lb = dm 0.4535924

Angles are dimensionless.  (Think of the Taylor series for trig

    radian, degree :: Unit
    radian = dm 1
    degree = dm (pi/180)


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