Chapter 11 : Lists and Sets

Lists are linear collections of elements of the same type. Linear means that, in order to reach an element in a list, we must visit all the elements before (sequential access). Elements can be repeated, as only their order in the collection matters. The first element is called the head, and the sub-list after the head is called the tail. For those familiar with algorithmic data structure, you can think of a list a stack, where the top is written on the left.


Defining lists

To define an empty list :

let empty_list : int list = []

To define list with values:

let my_list : int list = [1; 2; 2] // The head is 1

Adding to lists

Lists can be augmented by adding an element before the head (or, in terms of stack, by pushing an element on top). This operation is usually called consing in functional languages. You can add elements to an existing list using the consing operator :: :

let larger_list : int list = 5 :: my_list // [5;1;2;2]

Functional Iteration over Lists

A functional iterator is a function that traverses a data structure and calls in turn a given function over the elements of that structure to compute some value. There are three kinds of functional iterations over LIGO lists: the iterated operation, the map operation (not to be confused with the map data structure) and the fold operation.

Iterated Operation over Lists

The first, the iterated operation, is an iteration over the list with a unit return value. It is useful to enforce certain invariants on the element of a list, or fail. For example you might want to check that each value inside of a list is within a certain range, and fail otherwise. The predefined functional iterator implementing the iterated operation over lists is called List.iter.

let iter_op (l : int list) : unit =
  let predicate = fun (i : int) -> assert (i > 3)
  in List.iter predicate l

Mapped Operation over Lists

We may want to change all the elements of a given list by applying to them a function. This is called a map operation, not to be confused with the map data structure. The predefined functional iterator implementing the mapped operation over lists is called and is used as follows.

let increment (i : int) : int = i + 1

// Creates a new list with all elements incremented by 1

let plus_one : int list = increment larger_list

Folded Operation over Lists

A folded operation is the most general of iterations. The folded function takes two arguments: an accumulator and the structure element at hand, with which it then produces a new accumulator. This enables having a partial result that becomes complete when the traversal of the data structure is over. The predefined functional iterator implementing the folded operation over lists is called List.fold and is used as follows.

let sum (acc, i: int * int) : int = acc + ilet sum_of_elements : int = List.fold sum my_list 0


Sets are unordered collections of values of the same type, like lists are ordered collections. Elements of sets in LIGO are unique, whereas they can be repeated in a list.

Defining sets

To define an empty set :

let my_set : int set = Set.empty

In CameLIGO, there is no predefined syntactic construct for sets: you must build your set by adding to the empty set. (This is the way in OCaml.)

let my_set : int set =  Set.add 3 (Set.add 2 (Set.add 2 (Set.add 1 (Set.empty : int set))))

Testing membership

In CameLIGO, the predefined predicate Set.mem tests for membership in a set as follows:

let contains_3 : bool = Set.mem 3 my_set

Size of a set

The predefined function Set.size returns the number of elements in a given set as follows.

let cardinal : nat = Set.size my_set

update a set

There are two ways to update a set, that is to add or remove from it. In CameLIGO, we can use the predefined functions Set.add and Set.remove. We update a given set by creating another one, with or without some elements.

let larger_set  : int set = Set.add 4 my_setlet smaller_set : int set = Set.remove 3 my_set

Functional Iteration over Sets

It is possible to iterate over elements of a set and apply a function to them (like functional iteratio over List).

There are three kinds of functional iterations over LIGO sets: the iterated operation and the folded operation.

Iterated Operation

let iter_op (s : int set) : unit =  let predicate = fun (i : int) -> assert (i > 3)  in Set.iter predicate s

Folded Operation

let sum (acc, i : int * int) : int = acc + ilet sum_of_elements : int = Set.fold sum my_set 0

Your mission

1- Define itinary as a list of string names of celestial bodies representing your course. Start with “earth”

2- On the next line, add “sun” to the itinary and save it into a longer_itinary constant.

2- On the next line, add “alpha-centauri” to the longer_itinary and save it into a far_itinary constant.