Martin Escardo, 20 Feb 2012. We give a negative answer to a question posed by Altenkirch, Anberrée and Li. They asked whether for every definable type X in Martin-L̈of type theory, it is the case that for any two provably distinct elements x₀,x₁:X, there is a function p:X→𝟚 and a proof d: p x₀ ≠ p x₁. Here 𝟚 is the type of binary numerals, or booleans if you like, but I am not telling you which of ₀ and ₁ is to be regarded as true or false. If one thinks of 𝟚-valued maps as characteristic functions of clopen sets in a topological view of types, then their question amounts to asking whether the definable types are totally separated, that is, whether the clopens separate the points. See Johnstone's book "Stone Spaces" for some information about this notion - e.g. for compact spaces, it agrees with total disconnectedness (the connected components are the singletons) and zero-dimensionality (the clopens form a base of the topology), but in general the three notions don't agree. We give an example of a type X whose total separatedness implies WLPO (Bishop's weak limited principle of omniscience). The proof works by constructing two elements x₀ and x₁ of X, and a discontinuous function ℕ∞→𝟚 from any hypothetical p:X→𝟚 with p x₀ ≠ p x₁, and then reducing discontinuity to WLPO. Our proof postulates extensionality. Without the postulate there are fewer closed terms of type X→𝟚, and their question was for closed terms X, x₀,x₁:X, and d:x₀≠x₁, and so the negative answer also works in the absence of extensionality. But assuming extensionality we get a stronger result, which is not restricted to closed terms, and which is a theorem rather than a metatheorem. \begin{code} {-# OPTIONS --without-K --exact-split --safe #-} module FailureOfTotalSeparatedness where open import SpartanMLTT open import Two open import Naturals open import GenericConvergentSequence open import BasicDiscontinuityTaboo open import WLPO open import Sets \end{code} The idea of the following construction is that we replace ∞ in ℕ∞ by two copies ∞₀ and ∞₁, which are different but not distinguishable by maps into 𝟚, unless WLPO holds. (We can use the Cantor space (ℕ→𝟚) or the Baire space (ℕ→ℕ), or many other types instead of ℕ∞, with ∞ replaced by any fixed element. But I think the proposed construction gives a more transparent and conceptual argument.) \begin{code} module concrete-example where X : U X = Σ \(u : ℕ∞) → u ≡ ∞ → 𝟚 ∞₀ : X ∞₀ = (∞ , λ r → ₀) ∞₁ : X ∞₁ = (∞ , λ r → ₁) \end{code} The elements ∞₀ and ∞₁ look different: \begin{code} naive : (pr₂ ∞₀ refl ≡ ₀) × (pr₂ ∞₁ refl ≡ ₁) naive = refl , refl \end{code} But there is no function p : X → 𝟚 such that p x = pr₂ x refl, because pr₁ x may be different from ∞, in which case pr₂ x is the function with empty graph, and so it can't be applied to anything, and certainly not to refl. In fact, the definition p : X → 𝟚 p x = pr₂ x refl doesn't type check (Agda says: "(pr₁ (pr₁ x) x) != ₁ of type 𝟚 when checking that the expression refl has type pr₁ x ≡ ∞"), and hence we haven't distinguished ∞₀ and ∞₁ by applying the same function to them. This is clearly seen when enough implicit arguments are made explicit. No matter how hard we try to find such a function, we won't succeed, because we know that WLPO is not provable: \begin{code} failure : (p : X → 𝟚) → p ∞₀ ≢ p ∞₁ → WLPO failure p = disagreement-taboo p₀ p₁ lemma where p₀ : ℕ∞ → 𝟚 p₀ u = p(u , λ r → ₀) p₁ : ℕ∞ → 𝟚 p₁ u = p(u , λ r → ₁) lemma : (n : ℕ) → p₀(under n) ≡ p₁(under n) lemma n = ap (λ h → p(under n , h)) (funext claim) where open import FunExt claim : (r : under n ≡ ∞) → (λ r → ₀) r ≡ (λ r → ₁) r claim s = ∅-elim(∞-is-not-ℕ n (sym s)) \end{code} Precisely because one cannot construct maps from X into 𝟚 that distinguish ∞₀ and ∞₁, it is a bit tricky to prove that they are indeed different: \begin{code} ∞₀-and-∞₁-different : ∞₀ ≢ ∞₁ ∞₀-and-∞₁-different r = zero-is-not-one claim₃ where p : ∞ ≡ ∞ p = ap pr₁ r φ : {x x' : ℕ∞} → x ≡ x' → (x ≡ ∞ → 𝟚) → (x' ≡ ∞ → 𝟚) φ = transport _ claim₀ : φ p (λ p → ₀) ≡ (λ p → ₁) claim₀ = Σ-≡-lemma ∞₀ ∞₁ r claim₁ : φ p (λ p → ₀) refl ≡ ₁ claim₁ = ap (λ f → f refl) claim₀ fact : refl ≡ p fact = ℕ∞-hset refl p claim₂ : ₀ ≡ φ p (λ p → ₀) refl claim₂ = ap (λ p → φ p (λ p → ₀) refl) fact claim₃ : ₀ ≡ ₁ claim₃ = trans claim₂ claim₁ \end{code} We can generalize this as follows, without using ℕ∞. From an arbitrary given type X and distinguised element a : X, we construct a new type Y, which will fail to be totally separated unless the point a is weakly isolated. The idea is to "explode" the point a into two different copies, which cannot be distinguished unless point a is weakly isolated, and keep all the other original points unchanged. \begin{code} module general-example (X : U) (a : X) where Y : U Y = Σ \(x : X) → x ≡ a → 𝟚 e : 𝟚 → X → Y e n x = (x , λ p → n) a₀ : Y a₀ = e ₀ a a₁ : Y a₁ = e ₁ a \end{code} It is not easy to show that a₀ ≠ a₁. Here is our original proof using the assumption that X is a set: \begin{code} Proposition : isSet X → a₀ ≢ a₁ Proposition h r = zero-is-not-one zero-is-one where p : a ≡ a p = ap pr₁ r φ : {x x' : X} → x ≡ x' → (x ≡ a → 𝟚) → (x' ≡ a → 𝟚) φ = transport _ claim₀ : φ p (λ p → ₀) ≡ (λ p → ₁) claim₀ = Σ-≡-lemma a₀ a₁ r claim₁ : φ p (λ p → ₀) refl ≡ ₁ claim₁ = ap (λ f → f refl) claim₀ fact : refl ≡ p fact = h refl p claim₂ : ₀ ≡ φ p (λ p → ₀) refl claim₂ = ap (λ p → φ p (λ p → ₀) refl) fact zero-is-one : ₀ ≡ ₁ zero-is-one = trans claim₂ claim₁ \end{code} Eventually we found a proof that doesn't require the assumption that X is a set. The idea is to use U, rather than 𝟚, to distinguish points (of course!): \begin{code} Proposition' : a₀ ≢ a₁ Proposition' r = zero-is-not-one zero-is-one where P : Y → U P (x , f) = Σ \(q : x ≡ a) → f q ≡ ₁ observation₀ : P a₀ ≡ (a ≡ a × ₀ ≡ ₁) observation₀ = refl observation₁ : P a₁ ≡ (a ≡ a × ₁ ≡ ₁) observation₁ = refl f : P a₁ → P a₀ f = transport P (sym r) p₁ : P a₁ p₁ = refl , refl p₀ : P a₀ p₀ = f p₁ zero-is-one : ₀ ≡ ₁ zero-is-one = pr₂ p₀ \end{code} Points different from the point a are mapped to the same point by the two embeddings e₀ and e₁: \begin{code} Lemma : (x : X) → x ≢ a → e ₀ x ≡ e ₁ x Lemma x φ = ap (λ ψ → (x , ψ)) claim where open import FunExt claim : (λ p → ₀) ≡ (λ p → ₁) claim = funext(λ p → ∅-elim(φ p)) \end{code} The following theorem shows that, because not every type X has decidable equality, the points a₀,a₁ of Y cannot necessarily be distinguished by maps into the discrete set 𝟚. To get the desired conclusion, it is enough to consider X = (ℕ → 𝟚), which is separated, in the sense that ¬¬(x ≡ y) → x ≡ y, assuming extensionality. (Cf. the module DiscreteAndSeparated.lagda.) \begin{code} open import DecidableAndDetachable weakly-isolated : {X : U} (x : X) → U weakly-isolated x = ∀ x' → decidable(x' ≢ x) Theorem : (Σ \(g : Y → 𝟚) → g a₀ ≢ g a₁) → weakly-isolated a Theorem (g , d) = λ x → two-equality-cases' (claim₀' x) (claim₁' x) where f : X → 𝟚 f x = g(e ₀ x) ⊕ g(e ₁ x) claim₀ : f a ≡ ₁ claim₀ = Lemma[b≢c→b⊕c≡₁] d claim₁ : (x : X) → x ≢ a → f x ≡ ₀ claim₁ x φ = Lemma[b≡c→b⊕c≡₀] (ap g (Lemma x φ)) claim₀' : (x : X) → f x ≡ ₀ → x ≢ a claim₀' x p r = ∅-elim (Lemma[b≡₀→b≢₁] fact claim₀) where fact : f a ≡ ₀ fact = trans (ap f (sym r)) p claim₁' : (x : X) → f x ≡ ₁ → ¬(x ≢ a) claim₁' x p φ = ∅-elim(Lemma[b≡₀→b≢₁] fact p) where fact : f x ≡ ₀ fact = claim₁ x φ \end{code}