# Arrow

`Arrow`

is a type class for modeling composable relationships between two types. One example of such a composable relationship is function `A => B`

; other examples include `cats.data.Kleisli`

(wrapping an `A => F[B]`

, also known as `ReaderT`

), and `cats.data.Cokleisli`

(wrapping an `F[A] => B`

). These type constructors all have `Arrow`

instances. An arrow `F[A, B]`

can be thought of as representing a computation from `A`

to `B`

with some context, just like a functor/applicative/monad `F[A]`

represents a value `A`

with some context.

Having an `Arrow`

instance for a type constructor `F[_, _]`

means that an `F[_, _]`

can be composed and combined with other `F[_, _]`

s. You will be able to do things like:

- Lifting a function
`ab: A => B`

into arrow`F[A, B]`

with`Arrow[F].lift(ab)`

. If`F`

is`Function1`

then`A => B`

is the same as`F[A, B]`

so`lift`

is just the identity function. - Composing
`fab: F[A, B]`

and`fbc: F[B, C]`

into`fac: F[A, C]`

with`Arrow[F].compose(fbc, fab)`

, or`fab >>> fbc`

. If`F`

is`Function1`

then`>>>`

becomes an alias for`andThen`

. - Taking two arrows
`fab: F[A, B]`

and`fcd: F[C, D]`

and combining them into`F[(A, C) => (B, D)]`

with`fab.split(fcd)`

or`fab *** fcd`

. The resulting arrow takes two inputs and processes them with two arrows, one for each input. - Taking an arrow
`fab: F[A, B]`

and turning it into`F[(A, C), (B, C)]`

with`fab.first`

. The resulting arrow takes two inputs, processes the first input and leaves the second input as it is. A similar method,`fab.second`

, turns`F[A, B]`

into`F[(C, A), (C, B)]`

.

## Examples

`Function1`

`scala.Function1`

has an `Arrow`

instance, so you can use all the above methods on `Function1`

. The Scala standard library has the `compose`

and `andThen`

methods for composing `Function1`

s, but the `Arrow`

instance offers more powerful options.

Suppose we want to write a function `meanAndVar`

, that takes a `List[Int]`

and returns the pair of mean and variance. To do so, we first define a `combine`

function that combines two arrows into a single arrow, which takes an input and processes two copies of it with two arrows. `combine`

can be defined in terms of `Arrow`

operations `lift`

, `>>>`

and `***`

:

```
import cats.arrow.Arrow
import cats.implicits._
def combine[F[_, _]: Arrow, A, B, C](fab: F[A, B], fac: F[A, C]): F[A, (B, C)] =
Arrow[F].lift((a: A) => (a, a)) >>> (fab *** fac)
```

We can then create functions `mean: List[Int] => Double`

, `variance: List[Int] => Double`

and `meanAndVar: List[Int] => (Double, Double)`

using the `combine`

method and `Arrow`

operations:

```
val mean: List[Int] => Double =
combine((_: List[Int]).sum, (_: List[Int]).size) >>> {case (x, y) => x.toDouble / y}
val variance: List[Int] => Double =
// Variance is mean of square minus square of mean
combine(((_: List[Int]).map(x => x * x)) >>> mean, mean) >>> {case (x, y) => x - y * y}
val meanAndVar: List[Int] => (Double, Double) = combine(mean, variance)
```

```
meanAndVar(List(1, 2, 3, 4))
// res0: (Double, Double) = (2.5, 1.25)
```

Of course, a more natural way to implement `mean`

and `variance`

would be:

```
val mean2: List[Int] => Double = xs => xs.sum.toDouble / xs.size
val variance2: List[Int] => Double = xs => mean2(xs.map(x => x * x)) - scala.math.pow(mean2(xs), 2.0)
```

However, `Arrow`

methods are more general and provide a common structure for type constructors that have `Arrow`

instances. They are also a more abstract way of stitching computations together.

`Kleisli`

A `Kleisli[F[_], A, B]`

represents a function `A => F[B]`

. You cannot directly compose an `A => F[B]`

with a `B => F[C]`

with functional composition, since the codomain of the first function is `F[B]`

while the domain of the second function is `B`

; however, since `Kleisli`

is an arrow (as long as `F`

is a monad), you can easily compose `Kleisli[F[_], A, B]`

with `Kleisli[F[_], B, C]`

using `Arrow`

operations.

Suppose you want to take a `List[Int]`

, and return the sum of the first and the last element (if exists). To do so, we can create two `Kleisli`

s that find the `headOption`

and `lastOption`

of a `List[Int]`

, respectively:

```
import cats.data.Kleisli
val headK = Kleisli((_: List[Int]).headOption)
val lastK = Kleisli((_: List[Int]).lastOption)
```

With `headK`

and `lastK`

, we can obtain the `Kleisli`

arrow we want by combining them, and composing it with `_ + _`

:

```
val headPlusLast = combine(headK, lastK) >>> Arrow[Kleisli[Option, *, *]].lift(((_: Int) + (_: Int)).tupled)
```

```
headPlusLast.run(List(2, 3, 5, 8))
// res1: Option[Int] = Some(10)
headPlusLast.run(Nil)
// res2: Option[Int] = None
```

`FancyFunction`

In this example let’s create our own `Arrow`

. We shall create a fancy version of `Function1`

called `FancyFunction`

, that is capable of maintaining states. We then create an `Arrow`

instance for `FancyFunction`

and use it to compute the moving average of a list of numbers.

```
case class FancyFunction[A, B](run: A => (FancyFunction[A, B], B))
```

That is, given an `A`

, it not only returns a `B`

, but also returns a new `FancyFunction[A, B]`

. This sounds similar to the `State`

monad (which returns a result and a new `State`

from an initial `State`

), and indeed, `FancyFunction`

can be used to perform stateful transformations.

To run a stateful computation using a `FancyFunction`

on a list of inputs, and collect the output into another list, we can define the following `runList`

helper function:

```
def runList[A, B](ff: FancyFunction[A, B], as: List[A]): List[B] = as match {
case h :: t =>
val (ff2, b) = ff.run(h)
b :: runList(ff2, t)
case _ => List()
}
```

In `runList`

, the head element in `List[A]`

is fed to `ff`

, and each subsequent element is fed to a `FancyFunction`

which is generated by running the previous `FancyFunction`

on the previous element. If we have an `as: List[Int]`

, and an `avg: FancyFunction[Int, Double]`

which takes an integer and computes the average of all integers it has seen so far, we can call `runList(avg, as)`

to get the list of moving average of `as`

.

Next let’s create an `Arrow`

instance for `FancyFunction`

and see how to implement the `avg`

arrow. To create an `Arrow`

instance for a type `F[A, B]`

, the following abstract methods need to be implemented:

```
def lift[A, B](f: A => B): F[A, B]
def id[A]: F[A, A]
def compose[A, B, C](f: F[B, C], g: F[A, B]): F[A, C]
def first[A, B, C](fa: F[A, B]): F[(A, C), (B, C)]
```

Thus the `Arrow`

instance for `FancyFunction`

would be:

```
implicit val arrowInstance: Arrow[FancyFunction] = new Arrow[FancyFunction] {
override def lift[A, B](f: A => B): FancyFunction[A, B] = FancyFunction(lift(f) -> f(_))
override def first[A, B, C](fa: FancyFunction[A, B]): FancyFunction[(A, C), (B, C)] = FancyFunction {case (a, c) =>
val (fa2, b) = fa.run(a)
(first(fa2), (b, c))
}
override def id[A]: FancyFunction[A, A] = FancyFunction(id -> _)
override def compose[A, B, C](f: FancyFunction[B, C], g: FancyFunction[A, B]): FancyFunction[A, C] = FancyFunction {a =>
val (gg, b) = g.run(a)
val (ff, c) = f.run(b)
(compose(ff, gg), c)
}
}
```

Once we have an `Arrow[FancyFunction]`

, we can start to do interesting things with it. First, let’s create a method `accum`

that returns a `FancyFunction`

, which accumulates values fed to it using the accumulation function `f`

and the starting value `b`

:

```
def accum[A, B](b: B)(f: (A, B) => B): FancyFunction[A, B] = FancyFunction {a =>
val b2 = f(a, b)
(accum(b2)(f), b2)
}
```

```
runList(accum[Int, Int](0)(_ + _), List(6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1))
// res3: List[Int] = List(6, 11, 15, 18, 20, 21)
```

To make the aformentioned `avg`

arrow, we need to keep track of both the count and the sum of the numbers we have seen so far. To do so, we will combine several `FancyFunction`

s to get the `avg`

arrow we want.

We first define arrow `sum`

in terms of `accum`

, and define arrow `count`

by composing `_ => 1`

with `sum`

:

```
import cats.kernel.Monoid
def sum[A: Monoid]: FancyFunction[A, A] = accum(Monoid[A].empty)(_ |+| _)
def count[A]: FancyFunction[A, Int] = Arrow[FancyFunction].lift((_: A) => 1) >>> sum
```

Finally, we create the `avg`

arrow in terms of the arrows we have so far:

```
def avg: FancyFunction[Int, Double] =
combine(sum[Int], count[Int]) >>> Arrow[FancyFunction].lift{case (x, y) => x.toDouble / y}
```

```
runList(avg, List(1, 10, 100, 1000))
// res4: List[Double] = List(1.0, 5.5, 37.0, 277.75)
```