Bimonoidal Structure of Probability Monads

by   Tobias Fritz, et al.

We give a conceptual treatment of the notion of joints, marginals, and independence in the context of categorical probability. This is achieved by endowing the usual probability monads (like the Giry monad) with a monoidal and an opmonoidal structure, mutually compatible (i.e. a bimonoidal structure). If the underlying monoidal category is cartesian monoidal, a bimonoidal structure is given uniquely by a strength with an extra condition. However, if the underlying monoidal category is not cartesian monoidal, a strength is not enough to guarantee all the desired properties of joints and marginals. A bimonoidal structure is then the correct requirement for the more general case. We explain the theory and the operational interpretation, with the help of the graphical calculus for monoidal categories. We then show as an example that the Kantorovich monad on the category of complete metric spaces is a bimonoidal monad for a non-cartesian monoidal structure.



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