Selected papers of the conference on ''Foundations of Software Science and Computation Structures'': FOSSACS 2012


Editors: Luca Aceto, Andrzej Tarlecki, Lars Birkedal

This special issue contains extended versions of papers presented at FOSSACS-2012, the 15th international conference on Foundations of Software Science and Computational Structures, held as part of the European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2012, Tallinn, Estonia, March 24 - April 1, 2012.

The papers collected in this special issue were invited by the guest editors. The selection was made on the basis of the ranking of the papers by the Program Committee and the opinion of the expert reviewers who assisted the Program Committee. The papers reflect the high level of the conference and represent a wide range of topics. We are grateful to the authors for their excellent submissions.

All papers were refereed in accordance with the usual high standards of LMCS. We are grateful to the members of the Program Committee of FOSSACS 2012 and their subreferees as well as to all those who have served as reviewers of the papers submitted to this special issue.

Luca Aceto and Lars Birkedal
Guest editors and PC member/PC Chair of FOSSACS 2012

1. On the Complexity of Equivalence and Minimisation for Q-weighted Automata

Stefan Kiefer ; Andrzej Murawski ; Joel Ouaknine ; Bjoern Wachter ; James Worrell.
This paper is concerned with the computational complexity of equivalence and minimisation for automata with transition weights in the field Q of rational numbers. We use polynomial identity testing and the Isolation Lemma to obtain complexity bounds, focussing on the class NC of problems within P solvable in polylogarithmic parallel time. For finite Q-weighted automata, we give a randomised NC procedure that either outputs that two automata are equivalent or returns a word on which they differ. We also give an NC procedure for deciding whether a given automaton is minimal, as well as a randomised NC procedure that minimises an automaton. We consider probabilistic automata with rewards, similar to Markov Decision Processes. For these automata we consider two notions of equivalence: expectation equivalence and distribution equivalence. The former requires that two automata have the same expected reward on each input word, while the latter requires that each input word induce the same distribution on rewards in each automaton. For both notions we give algorithms for deciding equivalence by reduction to equivalence of Q-weighted automata. Finally we show that the equivalence problem for Q-weighted visibly pushdown automata is logspace equivalent to the polynomial identity testing problem.

2. Effective Characterizations of Simple Fragments of Temporal Logic Using Carton--Michel Automata

Preugschat Sebastian ; Thomas Wilke.
We present a framework for obtaining effective characterizations of simple fragments of future temporal logic (LTL) with the natural numbers as time domain. The framework is based on a form of strongly unambiguous automata, also known as prophetic automata or complete unambiguous Büchi automata and referred to as Carton-Michel automata in this paper. These automata enjoy strong structural properties, in particular, they separate the "finitary fraction" of a regular language of infinite words from its "infinitary fraction" in a natural fashion. Within our framework, we provide characterizations of several natural fragments of temporal logic, where, in some cases, no effective characterization had been known previously, and give lower and upper bounds for their computational complexity.

3. Well-Pointed Coalgebras

Jiří Adámek ; Stefan Milius ; Lawrence S Moss ; Lurdes Sousa.
For endofunctors of varieties preserving intersections, a new description of the final coalgebra and the initial algebra is presented: the former consists of all well-pointed coalgebras. These are the pointed coalgebras having no proper subobject and no proper quotient. The initial algebra consists of all well-pointed coalgebras that are well-founded in the sense of Osius and Taylor. And initial algebras are precisely the final well-founded coalgebras. Finally, the initial iterative algebra consists of all finite well-pointed coalgebras. Numerous examples are discussed e.g. automata, graphs, and labeled transition systems.

4. On Characterising Distributability

Rob J. van Glabbeek ; Ursula Goltz ; Jens-Wolfhard Schicke-Uffmann.
We formalise a general concept of distributed systems as sequential components interacting asynchronously. We define a corresponding class of Petri nets, called LSGA nets, and precisely characterise those system specifications which can be implemented as LSGA nets up to branching ST-bisimilarity with explicit divergence.

5. When is a container a comonad?

Danel Ahman ; James Chapman ; Tarmo Uustalu.
Abbott, Altenkirch, Ghani and others have taught us that many parameterized datatypes (set functors) can be usefully analyzed via container representations in terms of a set of shapes and a set of positions in each shape. This paper builds on the observation that datatypes often carry additional structure that containers alone do not account for. We introduce directed containers to capture the common situation where every position in a data-structure determines another data-structure, informally, the sub-data-structure rooted by that position. Some natural examples are non-empty lists and node-labelled trees, and data-structures with a designated position (zippers). While containers denote set functors via a fully-faithful functor, directed containers interpret fully-faithfully into comonads. But more is true: every comonad whose underlying functor is a container is represented by a directed container. In fact, directed containers are the same as containers that are comonads. We also describe some constructions of directed containers. We have formalized our development in the dependently typed programming language Agda.