Selected Papers of the Conferences FORTE and COORDINATION 2015

Editors: Susanne Graf, Tom Holvoet, Viswanathan Mahesh, Mirko Viroli

This special issue contains revised and extended versions of 7 papers, 3 of them presented at FORTE 2015, the 35th International Conference on Formal Techniques for Distributed Objects, Components and Systems, and 4 of them at COORDINATION 2015, the 17th International Conference on Coordination Models and Languages, held as part of DisCoTec 2015, the 10th International Federated Conference on Distributed Computing Techniques that took place in Grenoble, France, during June 2-5, 2015. The DisCoTec series is one of the major events sponsored by the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) WG 6.1.

The papers collected in this special issue were invited by the guest editors, taking into account the opinions of the Program Committee members and the expert reviewers expressed during the paper selection process of the two conferences. They underwent a new and thorough reviewing and revision process, in accordance with the usual high standards of LMCS. We are grateful to all authors for their contributions and to the reviewers of the conferences and of this special issue for their thorough and valuable work.

Susanne Graf, Tom Holvoet, Mirko Viroli, Mahesh Viswanathan
COORDINATION 2015 and FORTE 2015 Program Chairs


1. Privacy by typing in the $\pi$-calculus

Dimitrios Kouzapas ; Anna Philippou.
In this paper we propose a formal framework for studying privacy in information systems. The proposal follows a two-axes schema where the first axis considers privacy as a taxonomy of rights and the second axis involves the ways an information system stores and manipulates information. We develop a correspondence between the above schema and an associated model of computation. In particular, we propose the \Pcalc, a calculus based on the $\pi$-calculus with groups extended with constructs for reasoning about private data. The privacy requirements of an information system are captured via a privacy policy language. The correspondence between the privacy model and the \Pcalc semantics is established using a type system for the calculus and a satisfiability definition between types and privacy policies. We deploy a type preservation theorem to show that a system respects a policy and it is safe if the typing of the system satisfies the policy. We illustrate our methodology via analysis of two use cases: a privacy-aware scheme for electronic traffic pricing and a privacy-preserving technique for speed-limit enforcement.

2. Timed Session Types

Massimo Bartoletti ; Tiziana Cimoli ; Maurizio Murgia.
Timed session types formalise timed communication protocols between two participants at the endpoints of a session. They feature a decidable compliance relation, which generalises to the timed setting the progress-based compliance between untimed session types. We show a sound and complete technique to decide when a timed session type admits a compliant one. Then, we show how to construct the most precise session type compliant with a given one, according to the subtyping preorder induced by compliance. Decidability of subtyping follows from these results.

3. Dynamic Causality in Event Structures

Youssef Arbach ; David S. Karcher ; Kirstin Peters ; Uwe Nestmann.
Event Structures (ESs) address the representation of direct relationships between individual events, usually capturing the notions of causality and conflict. Up to now, such relationships have been static, i.e., they cannot change during a system run. Thus, the common ESs only model a static view on systems. We make causality dynamic by allowing causal dependencies between some events to be changed by occurrences of other events. We first model and study the case in which events may entail the removal of causal dependencies, then we consider the addition of causal dependencies, and finally we combine both approaches in the so-called Dynamic Causality ESs. For all three newly defined types of ESs, we study their expressive power in comparison to the well-known Prime ESs, Dual ESs, Extended Bundle ESs, and ESs for Resolvable Conflicts. Interestingly, Dynamic Causality ESs subsume Extended Bundle ESs and Dual ESs but are incomparable with ESs for Resolvable Conflicts.

4. Data optimizations for constraint automata

Sung-Shik T. Q. Jongmans ; Farhad Arbab.
Constraint automata (CA) constitute a coordination model based on finite automata on infinite words. Originally introduced for modeling of coordinators, an interesting new application of CAs is implementing coordinators (i.e., compiling CAs into executable code). Such an approach guarantees correctness-by-construction and can even yield code that outperforms hand-crafted code. The extent to which these two potential advantages materialize depends on the smartness of CA-compilers and the existence of proofs of their correctness. Every transition in a CA is labeled by a "data constraint" that specifies an atomic data-flow between coordinated processes as a first-order formula. At run-time, compiler-generated code must handle data constraints as efficiently as possible. In this paper, we present, and prove the correctness of two optimization techniques for CA-compilers related to handling of data constraints: a reduction to eliminate redundant variables and a translation from (declarative) data constraints to (imperative) data commands expressed in a small sequential language. Through experiments, we show that these optimization techniques can have a positive impact on performance of generated executable code.

5. Dynamic Choreographies: Theory And Implementation

Mila Dalla Preda ; Maurizio Gabbrielli ; Saverio Giallorenzo ; Ivan Lanese ; Jacopo Mauro.
Programming distributed applications free from communication deadlocks and race conditions is complex. Preserving these properties when applications are updated at runtime is even harder. We present a choreographic approach for programming updatable, distributed applications. We define a choreography language, called Dynamic Interaction-Oriented Choreography (AIOC), that allows the programmer to specify, from a global viewpoint, which parts of the application can be updated. At runtime, these parts may be replaced by new AIOC fragments from outside the application. AIOC programs are compiled, generating code for each participant in a process-level language called Dynamic Process-Oriented Choreographies (APOC). We prove that APOC distributed applications generated from AIOC specifications are deadlock free and race free and that these properties hold also after any runtime update. We instantiate the theoretical model above into a programming framework called Adaptable Interaction-Oriented Choreographies in Jolie (AIOCJ) that comprises an integrated development environment, a compiler from an extension of AIOCs to distributed Jolie programs, and a runtime environment to support their execution.

6. Asynchronous Distributed Execution Of Fixpoint-Based Computational Fields

Alberto Lluch Lafuente ; Michele Loreti ; Ugo Montanari.
Coordination is essential for dynamic distributed systems whose components exhibit interactive and autonomous behaviors. Spatially distributed, locally interacting, propagating computational fields are particularly appealing for allowing components to join and leave with little or no overhead. Computational fields are a key ingredient of aggregate programming, a promising software engineering methodology particularly relevant for the Internet of Things. In our approach, space topology is represented by a fixed graph-shaped field, namely a network with attributes on both nodes and arcs, where arcs represent interaction capabilities between nodes. We propose a SMuC calculus where mu-calculus- like modal formulas represent how the values stored in neighbor nodes should be combined to update the present node. Fixpoint operations can be understood globally as recursive definitions, or locally as asynchronous converging propagation processes. We present a distributed implementation of our calculus. The translation is first done mapping SMuC programs into normal form, purely iterative programs and then into distributed programs. Some key results are presented that show convergence of fixpoint computations under fair asynchrony and under reinitialization of nodes. The first result allows nodes to proceed at different speeds, while the second one provides robustness against certain kinds of failure. We illustrate our approach with a case study based on a disaster recovery scenario, […]

7. A Coordination Language for Databases

Ximeng Li ; Xi Wu ; Alberto Lluch Lafuente ; Flemming Nielson ; Hanne Riis Nielson.
We present a coordination language for the modeling of distributed database applications. The language, baptized Klaim-DB, borrows the concepts of localities and nets of the coordination language Klaim but re-incarnates the tuple spaces of Klaim as databases. It provides high-level abstractions and primitives for the access and manipulation of structured data, with integrity and atomicity considerations. We present the formal semantics of Klaim-DB and develop a type system that avoids potential runtime errors such as certain evaluation errors and mismatches of data format in tables, which are monitored in the semantics. The use of the language is illustrated in a scenario where the sales from different branches of a chain of department stores are aggregated from their local databases. Raising the abstraction level and encapsulating integrity checks in the language primitives have benefited the modeling task considerably.