© 2005,2009 John Abbott
GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

CoCoALib Documentation Index

User documentation for the classes module, ModuleBase, ModuleElem

You may also wish to look at the documentation for FGModule the type which represents (explicitly) Finitely Generated Modules.

The classes module, ModuleBase and ModuleElem are closely linked together (analogously to the triple ring, RingBase and RingElem).

The class module is a reference counting smart pointer to an object of type derived from ModuleBase; all concrete types for representing modules are derived from ModuleBase. For a library implementor the class ModuleBase defines the minimal interface which every concrete module class must offer; indeed the concrete class must be derived from ModuleBase.

A user of CoCoALib who does not wish to add to the library need know only what it is in this section.

Analogously to rings and RingElems, every ModuleElem belongs to some module. So before you can compute with ModuleElems you must create the module(s) which contain them.

To create a module you must a pseudo-constructor for one of the concrete module classes (refer to their documentation for details): e.g.

   NewFreeModule(R, n)   -- create a new FreeModule of n components over R

The functions which one may apply directly to a module are:

    NumCompts(M) -- the number of components an element of M has
    RingOf(M)  -- the base ring of M (i.e. M is a module over this ring)
    gens(M)      -- a read only C++ vector containing the generators of M
    zero(M)      -- a read only ModuleElem which is the zero of M
    M1 == M2     -- are the two modules identical (same repr in memory)?
    M1 != M2     -- opposite of M1 == M2

As you can see there is not a lot one can do to a module. Primarily they exist to "give the correct type" to module elements; internally they play a crucial role in applying operations to module elements. A C++ value of type ModuleElem represents an element of some concrete module. The module to which the value belongs is called the owner of that value. The owner of an object of type ModuleElem must be specified (explicitly or implicitly) when it is created, and cannot be changed during the lifetime of the object; the value it contains may, however, be changed (C++ const rules permitting).

Functions on ModuleElems

Let v be a non-const ModuleElem, and v1, v2 be const ModuleElems all belonging to the same concrete module M. Let R be the base ring of M, and r a const element of R. Then we summarize the possible operations using C++ syntax:

  owner(v1)   // gives the module to which v1 belongs
  -v1                                       // Usual arithmetic operations
  v1 + v2                    v1 - v2        // between ModuleElems and
  r * v1                     v1 * r         // RingElems.
                             v1 / r
  v = v1
  v += v1                    v -= v1
  v *= r                     v /= r
  v1 == v2                   v1 != v2
  IsZero(v1)                 cout << v1
  v[pos]  // throws if the module is not FGModule 

In every case it is an error to combine/compare ModuleElems belonging to different modules. As you would expect, instead of multiplying or dividing by a RingElem you may also multiply or divide by a machine integer, a BigInt or a BigRat.

Maintainer documentation for the classes module, and ModuleElem

I shall suppose that the user documentation has already been read and digested. It could also be helpful to have read the documentation for ring since the design philosophy here imitates that used for rings.

The class module is simply a reference counting smart pointer class to a concrete module (i.e. an object belonging to a class derived from ModuleBase).

A ModuleElem, like a RingElem, comprises two components: one specifying the algebraic structure to which the value belongs, and the other being an opaque representation of the value which can be correctly interpreted only by the owning module. The data members are:

    module myM;             // the module to which the ModuleElem belongs
    ModuleRawValue myValue; // "opaque" representation of the value,
                            // concrete modules must "import" this value.

The design philosophy for modules follows closely that used for rings. This means that every operation on ModuleElems is actually effected by calling the appropriate member function of the owning module. These member functions expect raw values as input. A normal ModuleElem stores within itself both the identity of the module to which it belongs and its value as an element of that particular module -- we call the first datum the owner and the second datum the RawValue. A RawValue can be correctly interpreted only if supplied as argument to a member function of the owning module -- calling module member functions for an incompatible concrete module and RawValue will very likely have grave consequences (officially stated as undefined behaviour, and most probably perceived as a program crash).

The member functions of a module do not check their arguments for being sensible. This decision is largely just a design policy imitating that used for rings, but may also lead to some slight beneficial effect on run-time performance. It does naturally imply that the programmer bears a considerable burden of responsibility.

(2.1) Member functions for operations on raw values [IGNORE THIS -- OUT OF DATE]

For ring elements (especially those in a small finite field), noticeable speed gains arise from using directly raw values and ring member functions. For modules the analogous effect exists in theory but will likely be negligible in practice. Nevertheless we list here the member functions of a module; this list will be useful to library authors who wish to create their own concrete module classes.

Let v be a non-const RawValue, and v1, v2 const RawValues belonging to M. Let r be a RingBase::RawValue belonging to the base ring of M.

  M.myGens()        -- returns a const ref to a C++ vector of module:elems
  M.myZero()        -- returns a const ref to a ModuleElem
  M.myNew(v)       -- allocates resources, apply only to uninitialized RawValue
  M.myNew(v, v1)   -- allocates resources, apply only to uninitialized RawValue
  M.myDelete(v)    -- releases resources
  M.mySwap(v, w)
  M.myAssign(v, v1)
  M.myNegate(v, v1)
  M.myAdd(v, v1, v2)
  M.mySub(v, v1, v2)
  M.myMul(v, r, v1)
  M.myDiv(v, r, v1) -- NOTE funny arg order!
  M.myOutput(out, v1)
  M.myIsEqual(v1, v2)

Bugs, Shortcomings and other ideas

This code is too new, largely untried/untested. As soon as it gets some use, there will be some material to put here :-)

The documentation is very incomplete. Will be fixed (eventually). Maintainer documentation is incompleter than user doc.