Why would a company like Twitter be interested in algebraic concepts like groups, monoids and rings? See their repository at github:twitter/algebird.
All I could find is:
Implementations of Monoids for interesting approximation algorithms, such as Bloom filter, HyperLogLog and CountMinSketch. These allow you to think of these sophisticated operations like you might numbers, and add them up in hadoop or online to produce powerful statistics and analytics.
and in another part of the GitHub page:
It was originally developed as part of Scalding's Matrix API, where Matrices had values which are elements of Monoids, Groups, or Rings. Subsequently, it was clear that the code had broader application within Scalding and on other projects within Twitter.
What could this broader application be? within Twitter and for general interest?
It seems like composition aggregations of databases have a monoid-like structure.
Same question on Quora: What is Twitter's interest in abstract algebra (with algebird)?
I have math background but I'm not computer scientist. It would be great to have "real-world" uses of monoids and semi-groups. These are normally considered useless theoretical constructs, and ignored in many abstract algebra courses (for lack of anything interesting to say).