A compact T-algebra is an initial T-algebra whose inverse is a final T-coalgebra. Functors with this property are said to be algebraically compact. This is a very strong property used in programming semantics which allows one to interpret recursive datatypes involving mixed-variance functors, such as function space. The construction of compact algebras is usually done in categories with a zero object where some form of a limit-colimit coincidence exists. In this paper we consider a more abstract approach and show how one can construct compact algebras in categories which have neither a zero object, nor a (standard) limit-colimit coincidence by reflecting the compact algebras from categories which have both. In doing so, we provide a constructive description of a large class of algebraically compact functors (satisfying a compositionality principle) and show our methods compare quite favorably to other approaches from the literature. |