Distributive Laws, Spans and the ZX-Calculus

by   Cole Comfort, et al.

We modularly build increasingly larger fragments of the ZX-calculus by modularly adding new generators and relations, at each point, giving some concrete semantics in terms of some category of spans. This is performed using Lack's technique of composing props via distributive laws, as well as the technique of pushout cubes of Zanasi. We do this for the fragment of the ZX-calculus with only the black π-phase (and no Hadamard gate) as well as well as the fragment which additionally has the and gate as a generator (which is equivalent to the natural number H-box fragment of the ZH-calculus). In the former case, we show that this is equivalent to the full subcategory of spans of (possibly empty) free, finite dimensional affine 𝔽_2-vector spaces, where the objects are the non-empty affine vector spaces. In the latter case, we show that this is equivalent to the full subcategory of spans of finite sets where the objects are powers of the two element set. Because these fragments of the ZX-calculus have semantics in terms of full subcategories of categories of spans, they can not be presented by distributive laws over groupoids. Instead, we first construct their subcategories of partial isomorphisms via distributive laws over all isomorphims with subobjects adjoined. After which, the full subcategory of spans are obtained by freely adjoining units and counits the the semi-Frobenius structures given by the diagonal and codiagonal maps.



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