# Type classes

Typeclasses were introduced as a principled way of enabling ad-hoc polymorphism in functional programming languages. We first observe that it would be easy to implement an ad-hoc polymorphic function (such as addition) if the function simply took the type-specific implementation of addition as an argument and then called that implementation on the remaining arguments. For example, suppose we declare a structure in Lean to hold implementations of addition

```
namespace Ex
structure Add (a : Type) where
add : a -> a -> a
#check @Add.add
-- Add.add : {a : Type} → Add a → a → a → a
end Ex
```

In the above Lean code, the field `add`

has type
`Add.add : {α : Type} → Add α → α → α → α`

where the curly braces around the type `a`

mean that it is an implicit argument.
We could implement `double`

by

```
namespace Ex
structure Add (a : Type) where
add : a -> a -> a
def double (s : Add a) (x : a) : a :=
s.add x x
#eval double { add := Nat.add } 10
-- 20
#eval double { add := Nat.mul } 10
-- 100
#eval double { add := Int.add } 10
-- 20
end Ex
```

Note that you can double a natural number `n`

by `double { add := Nat.add } n`

.
Of course, it would be highly cumbersome for users to manually pass the
implementations around in this way.
Indeed, it would defeat most of the potential benefits of ad-hoc
polymorphism.

The main idea behind typeclasses is to make arguments such as `Add a`

implicit,
and to use a database of user-defined instances to synthesize the desired instances
automatically through a process known as typeclass resolution. In Lean, by changing
`structure`

to `class`

in the example above, the type of `Add.add`

becomes

```
namespace Ex
class Add (a : Type) where
add : a -> a -> a
#check @Add.add
-- Add.add : {a : Type} → [self : Add a] → a → a → a
end Ex
```

where the square brackets indicate that the argument of type `Add a`

is *instance implicit*,
i.e. that it should be synthesized using typeclass resolution. This version of
`add`

is the Lean analogue of the Haskell term `add :: Add a => a -> a -> a`

.
Similarly, we can register an instance by

```
namespace Ex
class Add (a : Type) where
add : a -> a -> a
instance : Add Nat where
add := Nat.add
end Ex
```

Then for `n : Nat`

and `m : Nat`

, the term `Add.add n m`

triggers typeclass resolution with the goal
of `Add Nat`

, and typeclass resolution will synthesize the instance above. In
general, instances may depend on other instances in complicated ways. For example,
you can declare an (anonymous) instance stating that if `a`

has addition, then `Array a`

has addition:

```
instance [Add a] : Add (Array a) where
add x y := Array.zipWith x y (· + ·)
#eval Add.add #[1, 2] #[3, 4]
-- #[4, 6]
#eval #[1, 2] + #[3, 4]
-- #[4, 6]
```

Note that `x + y`

is notation for `Add.add x y`

in Lean.

The example above demonstrates how type classes are used to overload notation.
Now, we explore another application. We often need an arbitrary element of a given type.
Recall that types may not have any elements in Lean.
It often happens that we would like a definition to return an arbitrary element in a "corner case."
For example, we may like the expression `head xs`

to be of type `a`

when `xs`

is of type `List a`

.
Similarly, many theorems hold under the additional assumption that a type is not empty.
For example, if `a`

is a type, `exists x : a, x = x`

is true only if `a`

is not empty.
The standard library defines a type class `Inhabited`

to enable type class inference to infer a
"default" or "arbitrary" element of an inhabited type.
Let us start with the first step of the program above, declaring an appropriate class:

```
namespace Ex
class Inhabited (a : Type u) where
default : a
#check @Inhabited.default
-- Inhabited.default : {a : Type u} → [self : Inhabited a] → a
end Ex
```

Note `Inhabited.default`

doesn't have any explicit argument.

An element of the class `Inhabited a`

is simply an expression of the form `Inhabited.mk x`

, for some element `x : a`

.
The projection `Inhabited.default`

will allow us to "extract" such an element of `a`

from an element of `Inhabited a`

.
Now we populate the class with some instances:

```
namespace Ex
class Inhabited (a : Type _) where
default : a
instance : Inhabited Bool where
default := true
instance : Inhabited Nat where
default := 0
instance : Inhabited Unit where
default := ()
instance : Inhabited Prop where
default := True
#eval (Inhabited.default : Nat)
-- 0
#eval (Inhabited.default : Bool)
-- true
end Ex
```

You can use the command `export`

to create the alias `default`

for `Inhabited.default`

```
namespace Ex
class Inhabited (a : Type _) where
default : a
instance : Inhabited Bool where
default := true
instance : Inhabited Nat where
default := 0
instance : Inhabited Unit where
default := ()
instance : Inhabited Prop where
default := True
export Inhabited (default)
#eval (default : Nat)
-- 0
#eval (default : Bool)
-- true
end Ex
```

## Chaining Instances

If that were the extent of type class inference, it would not be all that impressive;
it would be simply a mechanism of storing a list of instances for the elaborator to find in a lookup table.
What makes type class inference powerful is that one can *chain* instances. That is,
an instance declaration can in turn depend on an implicit instance of a type class.
This causes class inference to chain through instances recursively, backtracking when necessary, in a Prolog-like search.

For example, the following definition shows that if two types `a`

and `b`

are inhabited, then so is their product:

```
instance [Inhabited a] [Inhabited b] : Inhabited (a × b) where
default := (default, default)
```

With this added to the earlier instance declarations, type class instance can infer, for example, a default element of `Nat × Bool`

:

```
namespace Ex
class Inhabited (a : Type u) where
default : a
instance : Inhabited Bool where
default := true
instance : Inhabited Nat where
default := 0
constant default [Inhabited a] : a :=
Inhabited.default
instance [Inhabited a] [Inhabited b] : Inhabited (a × b) where
default := (default, default)
#eval (default : Nat × Bool)
-- (0, true)
end Ex
```

Similarly, we can inhabit type function with suitable constant functions:

```
instance [Inhabited b] : Inhabited (a -> b) where
default := fun _ => default
```

As an exercise, try defining default instances for other types, such as `List`

and `Sum`

types.

The Lean standard library contains the definition `inferInstance`

. It has type `{α : Sort u} → [i : α] → α`

,
and is useful for triggering the type class resolution procedure when the expected type is an instance.

```
#check (inferInstance : Inhabited Nat) -- Inhabited Nat
def foo : Inhabited (Nat × Nat) :=
inferInstance
theorem ex : foo.default = (default, default) :=
rfl
```

You can use the command `#print`

to inspect how simple `inferInstance`

is.

```
#print inferInstance
```

## ToString

The polymorphic method `toString`

has type `{α : Type u} → [ToString α] → α → String`

. You implement the instance
for your own types and use chaining to convert complex values into strings. Lean comes with `ToString`

instances
for most builtin types.

```
structure Person where
name : String
age : Nat
instance : ToString Person where
toString p := p.name ++ "@" ++ toString p.age
#eval toString { name := "Leo", age := 542 : Person }
#eval toString ({ name := "Daniel", age := 18 : Person }, "hello")
```

## Numerals

Numerals are polymorphic in Lean. You can use a numeral (e.g., `2`

) to denote an element of any type that implements
the type class `OfNat`

.

```
structure Rational where
num : Int
den : Nat
inv : den ≠ 0
instance : OfNat Rational n where
ofNat := { num := n, den := 1, inv := by decide }
instance : ToString Rational where
toString r := s!"{r.num}/{r.den}"
#eval (2 : Rational) -- 2/1
#check (2 : Rational) -- Rational
#check (2 : Nat) -- Nat
```

Lean elaborate the terms `(2 : Nat)`

and `(2 : Rational)`

as
`OfNat.ofNat Nat 2 (instOfNatNat 2)`

and
`OfNat.ofNat Rational 2 (instOfNatRational 2)`

respectively.
We say the numerals `2`

occurring in the elaborated terms are *raw* natural numbers.
You can input the raw natural number `2`

using the macro `nat_lit 2`

.

```
#check nat_lit 2 -- Nat
```

Raw natural numbers are *not* polymorphic.

The `OfNat`

instance is parametric on the numeral. So, you can define instances for particular numerals.
The second argument is often a variable as in the example above, or a *raw* natural number.

```
class Monoid (α : Type u) where
unit : α
op : α → α → α
instance [s : Monoid α] : OfNat α (nat_lit 1) where
ofNat := s.unit
def getUnit [Monoid α] : α :=
1
```

## Output parameters

By default, Lean only tries to synthesize an instance `Inhabited T`

when the term `T`

is known and does not
contain missing parts. The following command produces the error
"failed to create type class instance for `Inhabited (Nat × ?m.1499)`

" because the type has a missing part (i.e., the `_`

).

```
-- FIXME: should fail
#check (inferInstance : Inhabited (Nat × _))
```

You can view the parameter of the type class `Inhabited`

as an *input* value for the type class synthesizer.
When a type class has multiple parameters, you can mark some of them as output parameters.
Lean will start type class synthesizer even when these parameters have missing parts.
In the following example, we use output parameters to define a *heterogeneous* polymorphic
multiplication.

```
namespace Ex
class HMul (α : Type u) (β : Type v) (γ : outParam (Type w)) where
hMul : α → β → γ
export HMul (hMul)
instance : HMul Nat Nat Nat where
hMul := Nat.mul
instance : HMul Nat (Array Nat) (Array Nat) where
hMul a bs := bs.map (fun b => hMul a b)
#eval hMul 4 3 -- 12
#eval hMul 4 #[2, 3, 4] -- #[8, 12, 16]
end Ex
```

The parameters `α`

and `β`

are considered input parameters and `γ`

an output one.
Given an application `hMul a b`

, after types of `a`

and `b`

are known, the type class
synthesizer is invoked, and the resulting type is obtained from the output parameter `γ`

.
In the example above, we defined two instances. The first one is the homogeneous
multiplication for natural numbers. The second is the scalar multiplication for arrays.
Note that, you chain instances and generalize the second instance.

```
namespace Ex
class HMul (α : Type u) (β : Type v) (γ : outParam (Type w)) where
hMul : α → β → γ
export HMul (hMul)
instance : HMul Nat Nat Nat where
hMul := Nat.mul
instance : HMul Int Int Int where
hMul := Int.mul
instance [HMul α β γ] : HMul α (Array β) (Array γ) where
hMul a bs := bs.map (fun b => hMul a b)
#eval hMul 4 3 -- 12
#eval hMul 4 #[2, 3, 4] -- #[8, 12, 16]
#eval hMul (-2) #[3, -1, 4] -- #[-6, 2, -8]
#eval hMul 2 #[#[2, 3], #[0, 4]] -- #[#[4, 6], #[0, 8]]
end Ex
```

You can use our new scalar array multiplication instance on arrays of type `Array β`

with a scalar of type `α`

whenever you have an instance `HMul α β γ`

.
In the last `#eval`

, note that the instance was used twice on an array of arrays.

## Default instances

In the class `HMul`

, the parameters `α`

and `β`

are treated as input values.
Thus, type class synthesis only starts after these two types are known. This may often
be too restrictive.

```
namespace Ex
class HMul (α : Type u) (β : Type v) (γ : outParam (Type w)) where
hMul : α → β → γ
export HMul (hMul)
instance : HMul Int Int Int where
hMul := Int.mul
def xs : List Int := [1, 2, 3]
-- Error "failed to create type class instance for HMul Int ?m.1767 (?m.1797 x)"
-- FIXME: should fail
#check fun y => xs.map (fun x => hMul x y)
end Ex
```

The instance `HMul`

is not synthesized by Lean because the type of `y`

has not been provided.
However, it is natural to assume that the type of `y`

and `x`

should be the same in
this kind of situation. We can achieve exactly that using *default instances*.

```
namespace Ex
class HMul (α : Type u) (β : Type v) (γ : outParam (Type w)) where
hMul : α → β → γ
export HMul (hMul)
@[defaultInstance]
instance : HMul Int Int Int where
hMul := Int.mul
def xs : List Int := [1, 2, 3]
#check fun y => xs.map (fun x => hMul x y) -- Int -> List Int
end Ex
```

By tagging the instance above with the attribute `defaultInstance`

, we are instructing Lean
to use this instance on pending type class synthesis problems.
The actual Lean implementation defines homogeneous and heterogeneous classes for arithmetical operators.
Moreover, `a+b`

, `a*b`

, `a-b`

, `a/b`

, and `a%b`

are notations for the heterogeneous versions.
The instance `OfNat Nat n`

is the default instance (with priority `100`

) for the `OfNat`

class. This is why the numeral
`2`

has type `Nat`

when the expected type is not known. You can define default instances with higher
priority to override the builtin ones.

```
structure Rational where
num : Int
den : Nat
inv : den ≠ 0
@[defaultInstance 200]
instance : OfNat Rational n where
ofNat := { num := n, den := 1, inv := by decide }
instance : ToString Rational where
toString r := s!"{r.num}/{r.den}"
#check 2 -- Rational
```

Priorities are also useful to control the interaction between different default instances.
For example, suppose `xs`

has type `α`

, when elaboration `xs.map (fun x => 2 * x)`

, we want the homogeneous instance for multiplication
to have higher priority than the default instance for `OfNat`

. This is particularly important when we have implemented only the instance
`HMul α α α`

, and did not implement `HMul Nat α α`

.
Now, we reveal how the notation `a*b`

is defined in Lean.

```
namespace Ex
class OfNat (α : Type u) (n : Nat) where
ofNat : α
@[defaultInstance]
instance (n : Nat) : OfNat Nat n where
ofNat := n
class HMul (α : Type u) (β : Type v) (γ : outParam (Type w)) where
hMul : α → β → γ
class Mul (α : Type u) where
mul : α → α → α
@[defaultInstance 10]
instance [Mul α] : HMul α α α where
hMul a b := Mul.mul a b
infixl:70 " * " => HMul.hMul
end Ex
```

The `Mul`

class is convenient for types that only implement the homogeneous multiplication.

## Scoped Instances

TODO

## Local Instances

TODO