Discussion of Homotopy Type Theory and Univalent Foundations
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From: escardo.martin@gmail.com
To: Homotopy Type Theory <HomotopyTypeTheory@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: [HoTT] Injective types
Date: Thu, 2 May 2019 13:46:22 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <2b380e43-8623-4900-b529-1e267155562f@googlegroups.com> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <CAOvivQwkwn1HDttRoOZk5d8fgEwdkO5x3Y7bpP=fFGbYG5s1BA@mail.gmail.com>

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On Wednesday, 1 May 2019 17:55:50 UTC+1, Michael Shulman wrote
> Yes, this is a good point in favor of Agda-style non-cumulative 
> Russell universes over Coq-style cumulative Russell universes. 
> But isn't there a middle ground with Tarski universes?  

It would be nice to have such a middle ground, particularly because 
formulating universe assumptions in each single definition and theorem is 
unfamiliar in mathematical practice, and so "typical ambiguity" (pretending 
there is only one universe) is potentially a good idea for many (or even 
most) examples. But not in the paper I advertised in this thread.

Here I post an example when Giraud did precisely that, namely to assume two 
arbitrary universes U and V, explaining why this is needed in that level of 
generality after the formulation of a theorem and its proof, given to me by 
Thierry Coquand:

  https://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~mhe/giraud-universes.pdf (photo of one page of 
a book).
The book is “Cohmologie non abelienne” (1971, 

Suppose we 
> have explicit lifting operators Lift : U_i -> U_{i+1}, so that as in 
> Agda we have unique small polymorphic level assignments.  But then 
> suppose we have *definitional* equalities El(Lift(A)) == El(A).  Then 
> on the (rare) occasions when we do have to explicitly lift types from 
> one universe to another, 

I can confirm from a 26k line Agda development (with comments and repeated 
blank lines removed in this counting of the number of lines) that not once 
did I need to embed a universe into a larger universe, except when I wanted 
to state the theorem that any universe is a retract of any larger universe 
if one assumes the propositional resizing axiom (any proposition in a 
universe U has an equivalent copy in any universe V). So I would say that 
such situations are *extremely rare* in practice.

> we would get stronger cumulativity behavior. 
> (And I could imagine a proof assistant that implements this and sugars 
> away the El to look like Russell universes to the user.)

At the moment we can choose cumulativity (Coq) or non-cumulativity (Agda), 
and there is no system that combines the virtues of Coq and Agda regarding 
universe handling. (And I fear that such a system would potentially 
multiply the vices of both. :-) )


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  reply index

Thread overview: 11+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2019-04-30 23:05 escardo.martin
2019-05-01  2:50 ` Michael Shulman
2019-05-01  6:25   ` escardo.martin
2019-05-01 16:55     ` Michael Shulman
2019-05-02 20:46       ` escardo.martin [this message]
2019-05-03 11:45         ` Michael Shulman
2019-05-03 13:25           ` Kenji Maillard
2019-05-03 18:23             ` Thierry Coquand
2019-05-07 12:42         ` Nils Anders Danielsson
2019-05-07 13:51           ` Andreas Nuyts
2019-05-07 22:06             ` Martín Hötzel Escardó

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Discussion of Homotopy Type Theory and Univalent Foundations

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