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Strong pseudomonads and premonoidal bicategories

by   Hugo Paquet, et al.

Strong monads and premonoidal categories play a central role in clarifying the denotational semantics of effectful programming languages. Unfortunately, this theory excludes many modern semantic models in which the associativity and unit laws only hold up to coherent isomorphism: for instance, because composition is defined using a universal property. This paper remedies the situation. We define premonoidal bicategories and a notion of strength for pseudomonads, and show that the Kleisli bicategory of a strong pseudomonad is premonoidal. As often in 2-dimensional category theory, the main difficulty is to find the correct coherence axioms on 2-cells. We therefore justify our definitions with numerous examples and by proving a correspondence theorem between actions and strengths, generalizing a well-known category-theoretic result.


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