Compositionality as we see it, everywhere around us

10/11/2021
by   Bob Coecke, et al.
0

There are different meanings of the term "compositionality" within science: what one researcher would call compositional, is not at all compositional for another researcher. The most established conception is usually attributed to Frege, and is characterised by a bottom-up flow of meanings: the meaning of the whole can be derived from the meanings of the parts, and how these parts are structured together. Inspired by work on compositionality in quantum theory, and categorical quantum mechanics in particular, we propose the notions of Schrodinger, Whitehead, and complete compositionality. Accounting for recent important developments in quantum technology and artificial intelligence, these do not have the bottom-up meaning flow as part of their definitions. Schrodinger compositionality accommodates quantum theory, and also meaning-as-context. Complete compositionality further strengthens Schrodinger compositionality in order to single out theories like ZX-calculus, that are complete with regard to the intended model. All together, our new notions aim to capture the fact that compositionality is at its best when it is `real', `non-trivial', and even more when it also is `complete'. At this point we only put forward the intuitive and/or restricted formal definitions, and leave a fully comprehensive definition to future collaborative work.

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