I have never been sure if calling something a “calculus” as opposed to an “algebra” is intended to communicate something important in computer science. For example, people talk about the “lambda calculus“. But they also talk about “process algebras“. What’s the key property that would make some system a ‘calculus’? Or is it an arbitary naming choice, just indicating the personal preference of the creator?
2 replies on “CS question: calculus vs algebra”
A Calculus don’t need to form any algebraic structure, but an algebra does form. Contrast one of the Relational Calculus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relational_calculus) with the Relational Algebra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relational_algebra).
Okaym thanks. Now I need to figure out what algebriac structures require and don’t require.