DSL for Generative Models – Interpreter (54/365)

The next step is for the library to have access to the latent variable data. I also don’t want the library to decide how to store the data because the user will have a much better idea of what is the most efficient way to store it. In terms of the library, I will need both read and write access to this data.

There are two kinds of data I need access to. In the case of HMM, for example, the values of Topic and Symbol form the Support to some distribution while the values of Topics and Symbols are the index of their respective distributions that’s currently active. So, consider the following signature

> type Support = Int
> -- Int -> a -> Either (a,Int) Support

For now, I’ll restrict Support to only integers. The second type takes some integer index, a label, and returns either the index or the support depending on what is being asked. I’ll make this clear in the end with the HMM example.

For the library to have read access to the data I will provide this data type.

> data Reader a = Reader
>   {
>     size :: Int
>   , read :: Int -> a -> Either (a,Int) Support
>   , copy :: IO (Writer a)
>   }

Field size tells us how many indices are there [0..size-1]; read is the function we just saw, and copy creates a writable copy of the data.

> data Writer a = Writer
>   {
>     write :: Int -> a -> Support -> IO ()
>   , readOnly :: IO (Reader a)
>   }

Here write allows us to write at some Int index for the label a a new value. Let me take the HMM as an example again. For simplicity, let’s say we store the sequences as a list of lists.

> data HMMLabels = Alpha | Beta | Transition
>                | Initial | Topic | Symbols | Symbol
> type Sequences = [[(Int,Int)]]

We can provide a reader.

> reader :: Sequences -> Reader HMMLabels
> reader ss = Reader
>   {
>     size = length (concat ss)
>   , read = \idx -> let (i,j) = indices !! idx
>                        (topic,symbol) = ss !! i !! j
>                        (prev_topic,_) = ss !! i !! (j-1)
>                    in \name -> case name of
>                                  Topic -> topic
>                                  Symbol -> symbol
>                                  Symbols -> (Topic,topic)
>                                  Transition -> if j==0
>                                                then (Initial,0)
>                                                else (Topic,prev_topic)
>   , copy = error "undefined"
>   }
>   where indices = concat $
>           map (\(i,s) -> [(i,j) | j <- [0..length s-1]]) (zip [0..] ss)

Note how the signature of read encourages caching; that is, the library can first supply only the index and then repeatedly query the resulting partial function for various names. This seems to be alright so far but I’ll only know if this holds up when I look at managing the distributions in the next post.

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