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Multisets in type theory

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 March 2019

Institutt for informatikk, Universitet i Bergen Postboks 7803, N - 5020 Bergen, Norway. e-mail:


A multiset consists of elements, but the notion of a multiset is distinguished from that of a set by carrying information of how many times each element occurs in a given multiset. In this work we will investigate the notion of iterative multisets, where multisets are iteratively built up from other multisets, in the context Martin–Löf Type Theory, in the presence of Voevodsky’s Univalence Axiom.

In his 1978 paper, “the type theoretic interpretation of constructive set theory” Aczel introduced a model of constructive set theory in type theory, using a W-type quantifying over a universe, and an inductively defined equivalence relation on it. Our investigation takes this W-type and instead considers the identity type on it, which can be computed from the univalence axiom. Our thesis is that this gives a model of multisets. In order to demonstrate this, we adapt axioms of constructive set theory to multisets, and show that they hold for our model.

Research Article
© Cambridge Philosophical Society 2019

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