Selected Papers of the 27th International Conference on Concurrency Theory (CONCUR 2016)

Editors: Franck van Breugel, Josée Desharnais, Radha Jagadeesan, Catuscia Palamidessi, Ana Sokolova

This special issue contains selected papers from the proceedings of the 27th Conference on Concurrency Theory (CONCUR 2016), which was hosted by Universit\'e Laval, in Quebec City, Canada, from 23-26 August 2016. The aim of the CONCUR conferences is to bring together researchers, developers, and students in order to contribute to the development and dissemination of the theory of concurrency and its applications.

The six papers were selected from the 34 papers presented at the conference. The topics of these papers reflect the diversity of the topics presented at the conference, which include probabilistic processes, timed systems, shared memory computing, and modern concurrency paradigms.

We thank the authors for their enthusiastic participation, and the anonymous referees for their time and dedication.

Franck van Breugel, Catuscia Palamidessi, and Ana Sokolova
Guest Editors

Josée Desharnais and Radha Jagadeesan
CONCUR 2016 Program Chairs


1. Soundness in negotiations

Javier Esparza ; Denis Kuperberg ; Anca Muscholl ; Igor Walukiewicz.
Negotiations are a formalism for describing multiparty distributed cooperation. Alternatively, they can be seen as a model of concurrency with synchronized choice as communication primitive. Well-designed negotiations must be sound, meaning that, whatever its current state, the negotiation can still be completed. In earlier work, Esparza and Desel have shown that deciding soundness of a negotiation is Pspace-complete, and in Ptime if the negotiation is deterministic. They have also extended their polynomial soundness algorithm to an intermediate class of acyclic, non-deterministic negotiations. However, they did not analyze the runtime of the extended algorithm, and also left open the complexity of the soundness problem for the intermediate class. In the first part of this paper we revisit the soundness problem for deterministic negotiations, and show that it is Nlogspace-complete, improving on the earlier algorithm, which requires linear space. In the second part we answer the question left open by Esparza and Desel. We prove that the soundness problem can be solved in polynomial time for acyclic, weakly non- deterministic negotiations, a more general class than the one considered by them. In the third and final part, we show that the techniques developed in the first two parts of the paper can be applied to analysis problems other than soundness, including the problem of detecting race conditions, and several classical static analysis problems. More specifically, we show […]

2. A Load-Buffer Semantics for Total Store Ordering

Parosh Aziz Abdulla ; Mohamed Faouzi Atig ; Ahmed Bouajjani ; Tuan Phong Ngo.
We address the problem of verifying safety properties of concurrent programs running over the Total Store Order (TSO) memory model. Known decision procedures for this model are based on complex encodings of store buffers as lossy channels. These procedures assume that the number of processes is fixed. However, it is important in general to prove the correctness of a system/algorithm in a parametric way with an arbitrarily large number of processes. In this paper, we introduce an alternative (yet equivalent) semantics to the classical one for the TSO semantics that is more amenable to efficient algorithmic verification and for the extension to parametric verification. For that, we adopt a dual view where load buffers are used instead of store buffers. The flow of information is now from the memory to load buffers. We show that this new semantics allows (1) to simplify drastically the safety analysis under TSO, (2) to obtain a spectacular gain in efficiency and scalability compared to existing procedures, and (3) to extend easily the decision procedure to the parametric case, which allows obtaining a new decidability result, and more importantly, a verification algorithm that is more general and more efficient in practice than the one for bounded instances.

3. Analyzing Timed Systems Using Tree Automata

S. Akshay ; Paul Gastin ; Shankara Narayanan Krishna.
Timed systems, such as timed automata, are usually analyzed using their operational semantics on timed words. The classical region abstraction for timed automata reduces them to (untimed) finite state automata with the same time-abstract properties, such as state reachability. We propose a new technique to analyze such timed systems using finite tree automata instead of finite word automata. The main idea is to consider timed behaviors as graphs with matching edges capturing timing constraints. When a family of graphs has bounded tree-width, they can be interpreted in trees and MSO-definable properties of such graphs can be checked using tree automata. The technique is quite general and applies to many timed systems. In this paper, as an example, we develop the technique on timed pushdown systems, which have recently received considerable attention. Further, we also demonstrate how we can use it on timed automata and timed multi-stack pushdown systems (with boundedness restrictions).

4. SOS-based Modal Decomposition on Nondeterministic Probabilistic Processes

Valentina Castiglioni ; Daniel Gebler ; Simone Tini.
We propose a method for the decomposition of modal formulae on processes with nondeterminism and probability with respect to Structural Operational Semantics. The purpose is to reduce the satisfaction problem of a formula for a process to verifying whether its subprocesses satisfy certain formulae obtained from the decomposition. To deal with the probabilistic behavior of processes, and thus with the decomposition of formulae characterizing it, we introduce a SOS-like machinery allowing for the specification of the behavior of open distribution terms. By our decomposition, we obtain (pre)congruence formats for probabilistic bisimilarity, ready similarity and similarity.

5. A Complete Quantitative Deduction System for the Bisimilarity Distance on Markov Chains

Giorgio Bacci ; Giovanni Bacci ; Kim G. Larsen ; Radu Mardare.
In this paper we propose a complete axiomatization of the bisimilarity distance of Desharnais et al. for the class of finite labelled Markov chains. Our axiomatization is given in the style of a quantitative extension of equational logic recently proposed by Mardare, Panangaden, and Plotkin (LICS 2016) that uses equality relations $t \equiv_\varepsilon s$ indexed by rationals, expressing that `$t$ is approximately equal to $s$ up to an error $\varepsilon$'. Notably, our quantitative deduction system extends in a natural way the equational system for probabilistic bisimilarity given by Stark and Smolka by introducing an axiom for dealing with the Kantorovich distance between probability distributions. The axiomatization is then used to propose a metric extension of a Kleene's style representation theorem for finite labelled Markov chains, that was proposed (in a more general coalgebraic fashion) by Silva et al. (Inf. Comput. 2011).

6. Model Checking Flat Freeze LTL on One-Counter Automata

Antonia Lechner ; Richard Mayr ; Joël Ouaknine ; Amaury Pouly ; James Worrell.
Freeze LTL is a temporal logic with registers that is suitable for specifying properties of data words. In this paper we study the model checking problem for Freeze LTL on one-counter automata. This problem is known to be undecidable in general and PSPACE-complete for the special case of deterministic one-counter automata. Several years ago, Demri and Sangnier investigated the model checking problem for the flat fragment of Freeze LTL on several classes of counter automata and posed the decidability of model checking flat Freeze LTL on one-counter automata as an open problem. In this paper we resolve this problem positively, utilising a known reduction to a reachability problem on one-counter automata with parameterised equality and disequality tests. Our main technical contribution is to show decidability of the latter problem by translation to Presburger arithmetic.