Volume 16, Issue 4


1. Field-based Coordination with the Share Operator

Giorgio Audrito ; Jacob Beal ; Ferruccio Damiani ; Danilo Pianini ; Mirko Viroli.
Field-based coordination has been proposed as a model for coordinating collective adaptive systems, promoting a view of distributed computations as functions manipulating data structures spread over space and evolving over time, called computational fields. The field calculus is a formal foundation for field computations, providing specific constructs for evolution (time) and neighbor interaction (space), which are handled by separate operators (called rep and nbr, respectively). This approach, however, intrinsically limits the speed of information propagation that can be achieved by their combined use. In this paper, we propose a new field-based coordination operator called share, which captures the space-time nature of field computations in a single operator that declaratively achieves: (i) observation of neighbors' values; (ii) reduction to a single local value; and (iii) update and converse sharing to neighbors of a local variable. We show that for an important class of self-stabilising computations, share can replace all occurrences of rep and nbr constructs. In addition to conceptual economy, use of the share operator also allows many prior field calculus algorithms to be greatly accelerated, which we validate empirically with simulations of frequently used network propagation and collection algorithms.

2. On the Termination Problem for Probabilistic Higher-Order Recursive Programs

Naoki Kobayashi ; Ugo Dal Lago ; Charles Grellois.
In the last two decades, there has been much progress on model checking of both probabilistic systems and higher-order programs. In spite of the emergence of higher-order probabilistic programming languages, not much has been done to combine those two approaches. In this paper, we initiate a study on the probabilistic higher-order model checking problem, by giving some first theoretical and experimental results. As a first step towards our goal, we introduce PHORS, a probabilistic extension of higher-order recursion schemes (HORS), as a model of probabilistic higher-order programs. The model of PHORS may alternatively be viewed as a higher-order extension of recursive Markov chains. We then investigate the probabilistic termination problem -- or, equivalently, the probabilistic reachability problem. We prove that almost sure termination of order-2 PHORS is undecidable. We also provide a fixpoint characterization of the termination probability of PHORS, and develop a sound (but possibly incomplete) procedure for approximately computing the termination probability. We have implemented the procedure for order-2 PHORSs, and confirmed that the procedure works well through preliminary experiments that are reported at the end of the article.

3. Of Cores: A Partial-Exploration Framework for Markov Decision Processes

Jan Křetínský ; Tobias Meggendorfer.
We introduce a framework for approximate analysis of Markov decision processes (MDP) with bounded-, unbounded-, and infinite-horizon properties. The main idea is to identify a "core" of an MDP, i.e., a subsystem where we provably remain with high probability, and to avoid computation on the less relevant rest of the state space. Although we identify the core using simulations and statistical techniques, it allows for rigorous error bounds in the analysis. Consequently, we obtain efficient analysis algorithms based on partial exploration for various settings, including the challenging case of strongly connected systems.

4. Verification of Flat FIFO Systems

Alain Finkel ; M. Praveen.
The decidability and complexity of reachability problems and model-checking for flat counter machines have been explored in detail. However, only few results are known for flat (lossy) FIFO machines, only in some particular cases (a single loop or a single bounded expression). We prove, by establishing reductions between properties, and by reducing SAT to a subset of these properties that many verification problems like reachability, non-termination, unboundedness are NP-complete for flat FIFO machines, generalizing similar existing results for flat counter machines. We also show that reachability is NP-complete for flat lossy FIFO machines and for flat front-lossy FIFO machines. We construct a trace-flattable system of many counter machines communicating via rendez-vous that is bisimilar to a given flat FIFO machine, which allows to model-check the original flat FIFO machine. Our results lay the theoretical foundations and open the way to build a verification tool for (general) FIFO machines based on analysis of flat sub-machines.

5. Reversing Place Transition Nets

Hernán Melgratti ; Claudio Antares Mezzina ; Irek Ulidowski.
Petri nets are a well-known model of concurrency and provide an ideal setting for the study of fundamental aspects in concurrent systems. Despite their simplicity, they still lack a satisfactory causally reversible semantics. We develop such semantics for Place/Transitions Petri nets (P/T nets) based on two observations. Firstly, a net that explicitly expresses causality and conflict among events, for example an occurrence net, can be straightforwardly reversed by adding a reverse transition for each of its forward transitions. Secondly, given a P/T net the standard unfolding construction associates with it an occurrence net that preserves all of its computation. Consequently, the reversible semantics of a P/T net can be obtained as the reversible semantics of its unfolding. We show that such reversible behaviour can be expressed as a finite net whose tokens are coloured by causal histories. Colours in our encoding resemble the causal memories that are typical in reversible process calculi.

6. A Functional (Monadic) Second-Order Theory of Infinite Trees

Anupam Das ; Colin Riba.
This paper presents a complete axiomatization of Monadic Second-Order Logic (MSO) over infinite trees. MSO on infinite trees is a rich system, and its decidability ("Rabin's Tree Theorem") is one of the most powerful known results concerning the decidability of logics. By a complete axiomatization we mean a complete deduction system with a polynomial-time recognizable set of axioms. By naive enumeration of formal derivations, this formally gives a proof of Rabin's Tree Theorem. The deduction system consists of the usual rules for second-order logic seen as two-sorted first-order logic, together with the natural adaptation In addition, it contains an axiom scheme expressing the (positional) determinacy of certain parity games. The main difficulty resides in the limited expressive power of the language of MSO. We actually devise an extension of MSO, called Functional (Monadic) Second-Order Logic (FSO), which allows us to uniformly manipulate (hereditarily) finite sets and corresponding labeled trees, and whose language allows for higher abstraction than that of MSO.

7. Collaboration vs. choreography conformance in BPMN

Flavio Corradini ; Andrea Morichetta ; Andrea Polini ; Barbara Re ; Francesco Tiezzi.
The BPMN 2.0 standard is a widely used semi-formal notation to model distributed information systems from different perspectives. The standard makes available a set of diagrams to represent such perspectives. Choreography diagrams represent global constraints concerning the interactions among system components without exposing their internal structure. Collaboration diagrams instead permit to depict the internal behaviour of a component, also referred as process, when integrated with others so to represent a possible implementation of the distributed system. This paper proposes a design methodology and a formal framework for checking conformance of choreographies against collaborations. In particular, the paper presents a direct formal operational semantics for both BPMN choreography and collaboration diagrams. Conformance aspects are proposed through two relations defined on top of the defined semantics. The approach benefits from the availability of a tool we have developed, named C4, that permits to experiment the theoretical framework in practical contexts. The objective here is to make the exploited formal methods transparent to system designers, thus fostering a wider adoption by practitioners.

8. The Complexity of Subgame Perfect Equilibria in Quantitative Reachability Games

Thomas Brihaye ; Véronique Bruyère ; Aline Goeminne ; Jean-François Raskin ; Marie van den Bogaard.
We study multiplayer quantitative reachability games played on a finite directed graph, where the objective of each player is to reach his target set of vertices as quickly as possible. Instead of the well-known notion of Nash equilibrium (NE), we focus on the notion of subgame perfect equilibrium (SPE), a refinement of NE well-suited in the framework of games played on graphs. It is known that there always exists an SPE in quantitative reachability games and that the constrained existence problem is decidable. We here prove that this problem is PSPACE-complete. To obtain this result, we propose a new algorithm that iteratively builds a set of constraints characterizing the set of SPE outcomes in quantitative reachability games. This set of constraints is obtained by iterating an operator that reinforces the constraints up to obtaining a fixpoint. With this fixpoint, the set of SPE outcomes can be represented by a finite graph of size at most exponential. A careful inspection of the computation allows us to establish PSPACE membership.

9. Transfinite Lyndon words

Olivier Carton ; Luc Boasson.
In this paper, we extend the notion of Lyndon word to transfinite words. We prove two main results. We first show that, given a transfinite word, there exists a unique factorization in Lyndon words that are densely non-increasing, a relaxation of the condition used in the case of finite words. In the annex, we prove that the factorization of a rational word has a special form and that it can be computed from a rational expression describing the word.

10. Convexity and Order in Probabilistic Call-by-Name FPC

Mathys Rennela.
Kegelspitzen are mathematical structures coined by Keimel and Plotkin, in order to encompass the structure of a convex set and the structure of a dcpo. In this paper, we ask ourselves what are Kegelspitzen the model of. We adopt a categorical viewpoint and show that Kegelspitzen model stochastic matrices onto a category of domains. Consequently, Kegelspitzen form a denotational model of pPCF, an abstract functional programming language for probabilistic computing. We conclude the present work with a discussion of the interpretation of (probabilistic) recursive types, which are types for entities which might contain other entities of the same type, such as lists and trees.

11. Clause Set Cycles and Induction

Stefan Hetzl ; Jannik Vierling.
In this article we relate a family of methods for automated inductive theorem proving based on cycle detection in saturation-based provers to well-known theories of induction. To this end we introduce the notion of clause set cycles -- a formalism abstracting a certain type of cyclic dependency between clause sets. We first show that the formalism of clause set cycles is contained in the theory of $\exists_1$ induction. Secondly we consider the relation between clause set cycles and the theory of open induction. By providing a finite axiomatization of a theory of triangular numbers with open induction we show that the formalism of clause set cycles is not contained in the theory of open induction. Furthermore we conjecture that open induction and clause set cycles are incomparable. Finally, we transfer these results to a concrete method of automated inductive theorem proving called the n-clause calculus.

12. An extended type system with lambda-typed lambda-expressions

Matthias Weber.
We present the system $\mathtt{d}$, an extended type system with lambda-typed lambda-expressions. It is related to type systems originating from the Automath project. $\mathtt{d}$ extends existing lambda-typed systems by an existential abstraction operator as well as propositional operators. $\beta$-reduction is extended to also normalize negated expressions using a subset of the laws of classical negation, hence $\mathtt{d}$ is normalizing both proofs and formulas which are handled uniformly as functional expressions. $\mathtt{d}$ is using a reflexive type axiom for a constant $\tau$ to which no function can be typed. Some properties are shown including confluence, subject reduction, uniqueness of types, strong normalization, and consistency. We illustrate how, when using $\mathtt{d}$, due to its limited logical strength, additional axioms must be added both for negation and for the mathematical structures whose deductions are to be formalized.

13. Life is Random, Time is Not: Markov Decision Processes with Window Objectives

Thomas Brihaye ; Florent Delgrange ; Youssouf Oualhadj ; Mickael Randour.
The window mechanism was introduced by Chatterjee et al. to strengthen classical game objectives with time bounds. It permits to synthesize system controllers that exhibit acceptable behaviors within a configurable time frame, all along their infinite execution, in contrast to the traditional objectives that only require correctness of behaviors in the limit. The window concept has proved its interest in a variety of two-player zero-sum games because it enables reasoning about such time bounds in system specifications, but also thanks to the increased tractability that it usually yields. In this work, we extend the window framework to stochastic environments by considering Markov decision processes. A fundamental problem in this context is the threshold probability problem: given an objective it aims to synthesize strategies that guarantee satisfying runs with a given probability. We solve it for the usual variants of window objectives, where either the time frame is set as a parameter, or we ask if such a time frame exists. We develop a generic approach for window-based objectives and instantiate it for the classical mean-payoff and parity objectives, already considered in games. Our work paves the way to a wide use of the window mechanism in stochastic models.

14. Theory of higher order interpretations and application to Basic Feasible Functions

Emmanuel Hainry ; Romain Péchoux.
Interpretation methods and their restrictions to polynomials have been deeply used to control the termination and complexity of first-order term rewrite systems. This paper extends interpretation methods to a pure higher order functional language. We develop a theory of higher order functions that is well-suited for the complexity analysis of this programming language. The interpretation domain is a complete lattice and, consequently, we express program interpretation in terms of a least fixpoint. As an application, by bounding interpretations by higher order polynomials, we characterize Basic Feasible Functions at any order.

15. Towards Races in Linear Logic

Wen Kokke ; J. Garrett Morris ; Philip Wadler.
Process calculi based in logic, such as $\pi$DILL and CP, provide a foundation for deadlock-free concurrent programming, but exclude non-determinism and races. HCP is a reformulation of CP which addresses a fundamental shortcoming: the fundamental operator for parallel composition from the $\pi$-calculus does not correspond to any rule of linear logic, and therefore not to any term construct in CP. We introduce non-deterministic HCP, which extends HCP with a novel account of non-determinism. Our approach draws on bounded linear logic to provide a strongly-typed account of standard process calculus expressions of non-determinism. We show that our extension is expressive enough to capture many uses of non-determinism in untyped calculi, such as non-deterministic choice, while preserving HCP's meta-theoretic properties, including deadlock freedom.

16. Psi-Calculi Revisited: Connectivity and Compositionality

Johannes Åman Pohjola.
Psi-calculi is a parametric framework for process calculi similar to popular pi-calculus extensions such as the explicit fusion calculus, the applied pi-calculus and the spi calculus. Mechanised proofs of standard algebraic and congruence properties of bisimilarity apply to all calculi within the framework. A limitation of psi-calculi is that communication channels must be symmetric and transitive. In this paper, we give a new operational semantics to psi-calculi that allows us to lift these restrictions and simplify some of the proofs. The key technical innovation is to annotate transitions with a provenance -- a description of the scope and channel they originate from. We give mechanised proofs that our extension is conservative, and that the standard algebraic and congruence properties of strong and weak bisimilarity are maintained. We show correspondence with a reduction semantics and barbed bisimulation. We show how a pi-calculus with preorders that was previously beyond the scope of psi-calculi can be captured, and how to encode mixed choice under very strong quality criteria.

17. Ticking clocks as dependent right adjoints: Denotational semantics for clocked type theory

Bassel Mannaa ; Rasmus Ejlers Møgelberg ; Niccolò Veltri.
Clocked Type Theory (CloTT) is a type theory for guarded recursion useful for programming with coinductive types, allowing productivity to be encoded in types, and for reasoning about advanced programming language features using an abstract form of step-indexing. CloTT has previously been shown to enjoy a number of syntactic properties including strong normalisation, canonicity and decidability of the equational theory. In this paper we present a denotational semantics for CloTT useful, e.g., for studying future extensions of CloTT with constructions such as path types. The main challenge for constructing this model is to model the notion of ticks on a clock used in CloTT for coinductive reasoning about coinductive types. We build on a category previously used to model guarded recursion with multiple clocks. In this category there is an object of clocks but no object of ticks, and so tick-assumptions in a context can not be modelled using standard tools. Instead we model ticks using dependent right adjoint functors, a generalisation of the category theoretic notion of adjunction to the setting of categories with families. Dependent right adjoints are known to model Fitch-style modal types, but in the case of CloTT, the modal operators constitute a family indexed internally in the type theory by clocks. We model this family using a dependent right adjoint on the slice category over the object of clocks. Finally we show how to model the tick constant of CloTT using a semantic […]

18. On open well-filtered spaces

Chong Shen ; Xiaoyong Xi ; Xiaoquan Xu ; Dongsheng Zhao.
We introduce and study a new class of $T_0$ spaces, called open well-filtered spaces. The main results we proved include (1) every well-filtered space is an open well-filtered space; (2) every core-compact open well-filtered space is sober. As an immediate corollary, we deduce that every core-compact well-filtered space is sober. This provides another different and relatively more straight forward method to answer the open problem posed by Jia and Jung: Is every core-compact well-filtered space sober?

19. Towards a Minimal Stabilizer ZX-calculus

Miriam Backens ; Simon Perdrix ; Quanlong Wang.
The stabilizer ZX-calculus is a rigorous graphical language for reasoning about quantum mechanics. The language is sound and complete: one can transform a stabilizer ZX-diagram into another one using the graphical rewrite rules if and only if these two diagrams represent the same quantum evolution or quantum state. We previously showed that the stabilizer ZX-calculus can be simplified by reducing the number of rewrite rules, without losing the property of completeness [Backens, Perdrix & Wang, EPTCS 236:1--20, 2017]. Here, we show that most of the remaining rules of the language are indeed necessary. We do however leave as an open question the necessity of two rules. These include, surprisingly, the bialgebra rule, which is an axiomatisation of complementarity, the cornerstone of the ZX-calculus. Furthermore, we show that a weaker ambient category -- a braided autonomous category instead of the usual compact closed category -- is sufficient to recover the meta rule 'only connectivity matters', even without assuming any symmetries of the generators.