Haskell LanguageArithmetic


Introduction

In Haskell, all expressions (which includes numerical constants and functions operating on those) have a decidable type. At compile time, the type-checker infers the type of an expression from the types of the elementary functions that compose it. Since data is immutable by default, there are no "type casting" operations, but there are functions that copy data and generalize or specialize the types within reason.

Remarks

The numeric typeclass hierarchy

Num sits at the root of the numeric typeclass hierarchy. Its characteristic operations and some common instances are shown below (the ones loaded by default with Prelude plus those of Data.Complex):

λ> :i Num
class Num a where
  (+) :: a -> a -> a
  (-) :: a -> a -> a
  (*) :: a -> a -> a
  negate :: a -> a
  abs :: a -> a
  signum :: a -> a
  fromInteger :: Integer -> a
  {-# MINIMAL (+), (*), abs, signum, fromInteger, (negate | (-)) #-}
      -- Defined in ‘GHC.Num’
instance RealFloat a => Num (Complex a) -- Defined in ‘Data.Complex’
instance Num Word -- Defined in ‘GHC.Num’
instance Num Integer -- Defined in ‘GHC.Num’
instance Num Int -- Defined in ‘GHC.Num’
instance Num Float -- Defined in ‘GHC.Float’
instance Num Double -- Defined in ‘GHC.Float’

We have already seen the Fractional class, which requires Num and introduces the notions of "division" (/) and reciprocal of a number:

λ> :i Fractional
class Num a => Fractional a where
  (/) :: a -> a -> a
  recip :: a -> a
  fromRational :: Rational -> a
  {-# MINIMAL fromRational, (recip | (/)) #-}
      -- Defined in ‘GHC.Real’
instance RealFloat a => Fractional (Complex a) -- Defined in ‘Data.Complex’
instance Fractional Float -- Defined in ‘GHC.Float’
instance Fractional Double -- Defined in ‘GHC.Float’

The Real class models .. the real numbers. It requires Num and Ord, therefore it models an ordered numerical field. As a counterexample, Complex numbers are not an ordered field (i.e. they do not possess a natural ordering relationship):

λ> :i Real
class (Num a, Ord a) => Real a where
  toRational :: a -> Rational
  {-# MINIMAL toRational #-}
      -- Defined in ‘GHC.Real’
instance Real Word -- Defined in ‘GHC.Real’
instance Real Integer -- Defined in ‘GHC.Real’
instance Real Int -- Defined in ‘GHC.Real’
instance Real Float -- Defined in ‘GHC.Float’
instance Real Double -- Defined in ‘GHC.Float’

RealFrac represents numbers that may be rounded

λ> :i RealFrac
class (Real a, Fractional a) => RealFrac a where
  properFraction :: Integral b => a -> (b, a)
  truncate :: Integral b => a -> b
  round :: Integral b => a -> b
  ceiling :: Integral b => a -> b
  floor :: Integral b => a -> b
  {-# MINIMAL properFraction #-}
      -- Defined in ‘GHC.Real’
instance RealFrac Float -- Defined in ‘GHC.Float’
instance RealFrac Double -- Defined in ‘GHC.Float’

Floating (which implies Fractional) represents constants and operations that may not have a finite decimal expansion.

λ> :i Floating
class Fractional a => Floating a where
  pi :: a
  exp :: a -> a
  log :: a -> a
  sqrt :: a -> a
  (**) :: a -> a -> a
  logBase :: a -> a -> a
  sin :: a -> a
  cos :: a -> a
  tan :: a -> a
  asin :: a -> a
  acos :: a -> a
  atan :: a -> a
  sinh :: a -> a
  cosh :: a -> a
  tanh :: a -> a
  asinh :: a -> a
  acosh :: a -> a
  atanh :: a -> a
  GHC.Float.log1p :: a -> a
  GHC.Float.expm1 :: a -> a
  GHC.Float.log1pexp :: a -> a
  GHC.Float.log1mexp :: a -> a
  {-# MINIMAL pi, exp, log, sin, cos, asin, acos, atan, sinh, cosh,
              asinh, acosh, atanh #-}
      -- Defined in ‘GHC.Float’
instance RealFloat a => Floating (Complex a) -- Defined in ‘Data.Complex’
instance Floating Float -- Defined in ‘GHC.Float’
instance Floating Double -- Defined in ‘GHC.Float’

Caution: while expressions such as sqrt . negate :: Floating a => a -> a are perfectly valid, they might return NaN ("not-a-number"), which may not be an intended behaviour. In such cases, we might want to work over the Complex field (shown later).