A Categorical Account of Replicated Data Types

Authors Fabio Gadducci , Hernán Melgratti , Christian Roldán , Matteo Sammartino

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Author Details

Fabio Gadducci
  • Dipartimento di Informatica, Università di Pisa, Italia
Hernán Melgratti
  • Departamento de Computación, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • ICC-CONICET-UBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Christian Roldán
  • Departamento de Computación, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Matteo Sammartino
  • Department of Computer Science, University College London, UK


We thank the reviewers for their careful reading and insightful comments.

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Fabio Gadducci, Hernán Melgratti, Christian Roldán, and Matteo Sammartino. A Categorical Account of Replicated Data Types. In 39th IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 150, pp. 42:1-42:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)


Replicated Data Types (RDTs) have been introduced as a suitable abstraction for dealing with weakly consistent data stores, which may (temporarily) expose multiple, inconsistent views of their state. In the literature, RDTs are commonly specified in terms of two relations: visibility, which accounts for the different views that a store may have, and arbitration, which states the logical order imposed on the operations executed over the store. Different flavours, e.g., operational, axiomatic and functional, have recently been proposed for the specification of RDTs. In this work, we propose an algebraic characterisation of RDT specifications. We define categories of visibility relations and arbitrations, show the existence of relevant limits and colimits, and characterize RDT specifications as functors between such categories that preserve these additional structures.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Program semantics
  • Software and its engineering → General programming languages
  • Replicated data type
  • Specification
  • Functorial characterisation


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