This is to announce a new package. Comments/ideas/criticisms are welcome.


Module Elements β€” elements of free modules.

A ModuleElt{K,V} represents an element of a free module where basis
elements are of type K and coefficients of type V. Usually you want
objects of type V to be elements of a ring, but it could also be useful
if they just belong to an abelian group. This is similar to the SageMath

This basic data structure is used in my packages as an efficient
representation at many places. For example, the Monomial type
representing multivariate monomials is a ModuleElt{Symbol,Int}:

x^2y^-3 is represented by ModuleElt(:x=>2,:y=>-3)

And multivariate polynomials are represented by a ModuleElt{Monomial,C}
where C is the type of the coefficients:

x*y-z^2 is represented by ``ModuleElt(x*y=>1,z^2=>-1)

ModuleElts are also used for cyclotomics, CycPols, elements of Hecke
algebras, etc…

A ModuleElt{K,V} is essentially a list of Pairs{K,V}. The constructor
takes as argument a list of pairs, or a variable number of pair arguments,
or a generator of pairs.

We provide two implementations:

  • HModuleElt, an implementation by Dicts

This requires that the type K is hashable. It is a very simple
implementation since the interface of the type is close to that of dicts;
the only difference is weeding out keys which have a zero cofficient β€”
which is necessary since for testing equality of module elements one needs
a canonical form for each element.

  • a faster implementation ModuleElt is obtained by keeping the list of
    pairs sorted by key. This demands that the type K has a isless method.
    This implementation is two to four times faster than the Dict one and
    requires half the memory.

Both implementations have the same methods, which are mostly the same
methods as a Dict (haskey, getindex, keys, values. pairs,
first, iterate, length, eltype), with some exceptions. Adding
elements is implemented as merge(+,...) which is a variation on merge
for Dicts where keys with zero value are deleted after the operation
(here + can be replaced by any operation op with the property that

A module element can also be negated, or multiplied or divided (/or //)
by some element (acting on coefficients) if the method is defined between
type V and that element; there are also zero and iszero methods.

ModuleElts have methods cmp and isless which HModuleElts don’t
have. There is also ModuleElts.merge2 which does the same as merge but is
valid for more general operations (I use it with min and max which
implement gcd and lcm for Monomials and CycPols).

Here is an example where basis elements are Symbols and coefficients are
Int. As you can see in the examples, at the REPL (or in Jupyter or Pluto,
when IO has the :limit attribute) the show method shows the
coefficients (bracketed if necessary, which is when they have inner
occurences of +-*/), followed by showing the basis elements. The repr
method gives a representation which can be read back in julia:

julia> a=ModuleElt(:xy=>1,:yx=>-1)

julia> repr(a)
"ModuleElt([:xy => 1, :yx => -1])"

julia> ModuleElt([:xy=>1//2,:yx=>-1])

Setting the IO property :showbasis to a custom printing function
changes how the basis elements are printed.

julia> show(IOContext(stdout,:showbasis=>(io,s)->string("<",s,">")),a)

We illustrate basic operations on ModuleElts:

julia> a-a

julia> a*99

julia> a//2

julia> a/2

julia> a+ModuleElt(:yx=>1)

julia> a[:xy] # indexing by a basis element finds the coefficient

julia> a[:xx] # the coefficient of an absent basis element is zero.

julia> haskey(a,:xx)

julia> first(a)
:xy => 1

julia> collect(a)
2-element Vector{Pair{Symbol, Int64}}:
 :xy => 1
 :yx => -1

julia> collect(keys(a))
2-element Vector{Symbol}:

julia> collect(values(a))
2-element Vector{Int64}:

julia> length(a)

julia> eltype(a)
Pair{Symbol, Int64}

In both implementations the constructor normalizes the constructed element,
removing zero coefficients and merging duplicate basis elements, adding the
corresponding coefficients (and sorting the basis in the default
implementation). If you know this normalisation is unnecessary, to get
maximum speed you can disable this by giving the keyword check=false to
the constructor.

julia> a=ModuleElt(:yy=>1, :yx=>2, :xy=>3, :yy=>-1;check=false)

julia> a=ModuleElt(:yy=>1, :yx=>2, :xy=>3, :yy=>-1)

Adding or subtracting ModuleElts does promotion on the type of the keys
and the coefficients if needed:

julia> a+ModuleElt([:z=>1.0])