Type-Level Programming in Scala, Part 6d: HList Zip/Unzip

For zip and unzip, we need to define some type classes. First, we will define an HZip type class that accepts two HLists and produces a zipped HList.

sealed trait HZip[A <: HList, B <: HList, Result <: HList] {
   def apply(a: A, b: B): Result

We implement the type class with two main cases hzipNil0 and hzipCons.

Zipping two HNils produces an HNil.

   implicit def hzipNil0 =
      new HZip[HNil, HNil, HNil] {
         def apply(a: HNil, b: HNil) = HNil

Zipping two HCons cells combines their heads into a tuple, zips their tails, and creates a new HCons cell from the tuple and zipped tails.

   implicit def hzipCons[HA, HB, TA <: HList, TB <: HList, TR <: HList](implicit hzipTail: HZip[TA, TB, TR]) =
      new HZip[HA :: TA, HB :: TB, (HA, HB) :: TR] {
         def apply(a: HA :: TA, b: HB :: TB) = HCons( (a.head, b.head), hzipTail(a.tail, b.tail) )

Two additional cases, hzipNil1 and hzipNil2, handle mismatched lengths by simply truncating the longer list.

   implicit def hzipNil1[H, T <: HList] =
      new HZip[HCons[H,T], HNil, HNil] {
         def apply(a: HCons[H,T], b: HNil) = HNil

   implicit def hzipNil2[H, T <: HList] =
      new HZip[HNil, HCons[H,T], HNil] {
         def apply(a: HNil, b: HCons[H,T]) = HNil

We hook this into our HListOps type class and we can call zip directly on an HList.


   // a heterogeneous list of length 3 and type
   //  Int :: String :: List[Char] :: HNil
   val a = 3 :: "ai4" :: List('r','H') :: HNil

   // a heterogeneous list of length 4 and type
   //  Char :: Int :: Char :: String :: HNil
   val b = '3' :: 2 :: 'j' :: "sdfh" :: HNil

   // the two HLists zipped
   val c = a zip b

   // zipped again.
   val cc = c zip c.tail

   // verify proper types
   // note that the fourth element of b is dropped, like when zipping a homogeneous List
   val checkCType : (Int, Char) :: (String, Int) :: (List[Char], Char) :: HNil = c

   val checkCCType : ((Int, Char), (String, Int)) :: ((String, Int), (List[Char], Char)) :: HNil = cc

   // verify proper values
   val (3, '3') :: ("ai4", 2) :: (List('r', 'H'), 'j') :: HNil = c

   val ((3,'3'),("ai4",2)) :: (("ai4",2),(List('r', 'H'),'j')) :: HNil = cc

Next, we’ll define an unzip type class that accepts an HList of tuples and separates it into two HLists by components:

trait Unzip[H <: HList, R1 <: HList, R2 <: HList] {
   def unzip(h: H): (R1, R2)

Unzipping HNil produces HNil.

   implicit def unzipNil =
      new Unzip[HNil, HNil, HNil] {
         def unzip(h: HNil) = (HNil, HNil)

For HCons, we unzip the tail, separate the head components, and prepend the respective head component to each tail component.

   implicit def unzipCons[H1, H2, T <: HList, TR1 <: HList, TR2 <: HList]
      (implicit unzipTail: Unzip[T, TR1, TR2]) =

      new Unzip[(H1,H2) :: T, H1 :: TR1, H2 :: TR2]  {
         def unzip(h: (H1,H2) :: T) = {
            val (t1, t2) = unzipTail.unzip(h.tail)
            (HCons(h.head._1, t1), HCons(h.head._2, t2))

   def unzip[H <: HList, R1 <: HList, R2 <: HList](h: H)(implicit un: Unzip[H, R1, R2]): (R1, R2) =
      un unzip h

Again, we just need to hook this into our HListOps type class.

Building on the example from above,

   // unzip the zipped HLists
   val (cc1, cc2) = cc.unzip

   val (ca, cb) = cc1.unzip

   // check types
   val checkCC1 : (Int, Char) :: (String, Int) :: HNil = cc1

   val checkCC2 : (String, Int) :: (List[Char], Char) :: HNil = cc2

   val checkCa: Int :: String :: HNil= ca

   val checkCb: Char :: Int :: HNil = cb

We will look at applying functions to HList values next.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s