In the context of abstract coinduction in complete lattices, the notion of compatible function makes it possible to introduce enhancements of the coinduction proof principle. The largest compatible function, called the companion, subsumes most enhancements and has been proved to enjoy many good properties. Here we move to universal coalgebra, where the corresponding notion is that of a final distributive law. We show that when it exists the final distributive law is a monad, and that it coincides with the codensity monad of the final sequence of the given functor. On sets, we moreover characterise this codensity monad using a new abstract notion of causality. In particular, we recover the fact that on streams, the functions definable by a distributive law or GSOS specification are precisely the causal functions. Going back to enhancements of the coinductive proof principle, we finally obtain that any causal function gives rise to a valid up-to-context technique.
Lecture Notes in Computer Science/Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence
Conference on Foundations of Software Science and Computation Structures
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam (CWI), The Netherlands

Pous, D., & Rot, J. (2017). Companions, codensity and causality. In FoSSaCS 2017: Foundations of Software Science and Computation Structures (pp. 106–123). doi:10.1007/978-3-662-54458-7_7