Volume 19, Issue 4


1. Non-Deterministic Functions as Non-Deterministic Processes (Extended Version)

Joseph W. N. Paulus ; Daniele Nantes-Sobrinho ; Jorge A. Pérez.
We study encodings of the lambda-calculus into the pi-calculus in the unexplored case of calculi with non-determinism and failures. On the sequential side, we consider lambdafail, a new non-deterministic calculus in which intersection types control resources (terms); on the concurrent side, we consider spi, a pi-calculus in which non-determinism and failure rest upon a Curry-Howard correspondence between linear logic and session types. We present a typed encoding of lambdafail into spi and establish its correctness. Our encoding precisely explains the interplay of non-deterministic and fail-prone evaluation in lambdafail via typed processes in spi. In particular, it shows how failures in sequential evaluation (absence/excess of resources) can be neatly codified as interaction protocols.

2. Finding Cut-Offs in Leaderless Rendez-Vous Protocols is Easy

A. R. Balasubramanian ; Javier Esparza ; Mikhail Raskin.
In rendez-vous protocols an arbitrarily large number of indistinguishable finite-state agents interact in pairs. The cut-off problem asks if there exists a number $B$ such that all initial configurations of the protocol with at least $B$ agents in a given initial state can reach a final configuration with all agents in a given final state. In a recent paper (Horn and Sangnier, CONCUR 2020), Horn and Sangnier proved that the cut-off problem is decidable (and at least as hard as the Petri net reachability problem) for protocols with a leader, and in EXPSPACE for leaderless protocols. Further, for the special class of symmetric protocols they reduce these bounds to PSPACE and NP, respectively. The problem of lowering these upper bounds or finding matching lower bounds was left open. We show that the cut-off problem is P-complete for leaderless protocols and in NC for leaderless symmetric protocols. Further, we also consider a variant of the cut-off problem suggested in (Horn and Sangnier, CONCUR 2020), which we call the bounded-loss cut-off problem and prove that this problem is P-complete for leaderless protocols and NL-complete for leaderless symmetric protocols. Finally, by reusing some of the techniques applied for the analysis of leaderless protocols, we show that the cut-off problem for symmetric protocols with a leader is NP-complete, thereby improving upon all the elementary upper bounds of (Horn and Sangnier, CONCUR 2020).

3. Impure Simplicial Complexes: Complete Axiomatization

Rojo Randrianomentsoa ; Hans van Ditmarsch ; Roman Kuznets.
Combinatorial topology is used in distributed computing to model concurrency and asynchrony. The basic structure in combinatorial topology is the simplicial complex, a collection of subsets called simplices of a set of vertices, closed under containment. Pure simplicial complexes describe message passing in asynchronous systems where all processes (agents) are alive, whereas impure simplicial complexes describe message passing in synchronous systems where processes may be dead (have crashed). Properties of impure simplicial complexes can be described in a three-valued multi-agent epistemic logic where the third value represents formulae that are undefined, e.g., the knowledge and local propositions of dead agents. In this work we present an axiomatization for the logic of the class of impure complexes and show soundness and completeness. The completeness proof involves the novel construction of the canonical simplicial model and requires a careful manipulation of undefined formulae.

4. Locality and Centrality: The Variety ZG

Antoine Amarilli ; Charles Paperman.
We study the variety ZG of monoids where the elements that belong to a group are central, i.e., commute with all other elements. We show that ZG is local, that is, the semidirect product ZG * D of ZG by definite semigroups is equal to LZG, the variety of semigroups where all local monoids are in ZG. Our main result is thus: ZG * D = LZG. We prove this result using Straubing's delay theorem, by considering paths in the category of idempotents. In the process, we obtain the characterization ZG = MNil \vee Com, and also characterize the ZG languages, i.e., the languages whose syntactic monoid is in ZG: they are precisely the languages that are finite unions of disjoint shuffles of singleton languages and regular commutative languages.

5. Verifying an Effect-Handler-Based Define-By-Run Reverse-Mode AD Library

Paulo Emílio de Vilhena ; François Pottier.
We apply program verification technology to the problem of specifying and verifying automatic differentiation (AD) algorithms. We focus on define-by-run, a style of AD where the program that must be differentiated is executed and monitored by the automatic differentiation algorithm. We begin by asking, "what is an implementation of AD?" and "what does it mean for an implementation of AD to be correct?" We answer these questions both at an informal level, in precise English prose, and at a formal level, using types and logical assertions. After answering these broad questions, we focus on a specific implementation of AD, which involves a number of subtle programming-language features, including dynamically allocated mutable state, first-class functions, and effect handlers. We present a machine-checked proof, expressed in a modern variant of Separation Logic, of its correctness. We view this result as an advanced exercise in program verification, with potential future applications to the verification of more realistic automatic differentiation systems and of other software components that exploit delimited-control effects.

6. Subgame-perfect Equilibria in Mean-payoff Games (journal version)

Léonard Brice ; Marie van den Bogaard ; Jean-François Raskin.
In this paper, we provide an effective characterization of all the subgame-perfect equilibria in infinite duration games played on finite graphs with mean-payoff objectives. To this end, we introduce the notion of requirement, and the notion of negotiation function. We establish that the plays that are supported by SPEs are exactly those that are consistent with a fixed point of the negotiation function. Finally, we use that characterization to prove that the SPE threshold problem, who status was left open in the literature, is decidable.

7. A coherent differential PCF

Thomas Ehrhard.
The categorical models of the differential lambda-calculus are additive categories because of the Leibniz rule which requires the summation of two expressions. This means that, as far as the differential lambda-calculus and differential linear logic are concerned, these models feature finite non-determinism and indeed these languages are essentially non-deterministic. In a previous paper we introduced a categorical framework for differentiation which does not require additivity and is compatible with deterministic models such as coherence spaces and probabilistic models such as probabilistic coherence spaces. Based on this semantics we develop a syntax of a deterministic version of the differential lambda-calculus. One nice feature of this new approach to differentiation is that it is compatible with general fixpoints of terms, so our language is actually a differential extension of PCF for which we provide a fully deterministic operational semantics.

8. Token Games and History-Deterministic Quantitative-Automata

Udi Boker ; Karoliina Lehtinen.
A nondeterministic automaton is history-deterministic if its nondeterminism can be resolved by only considering the prefix of the word read so far. Due to their good compositional properties, history-deterministic automata are useful in solving games and synthesis problems. Deciding whether a given nondeterministic automaton is history-deterministic (the HDness problem) is generally a difficult task, which can involve an exponential procedure, or even be undecidable, as is the case for example with pushdown automata. Token games provide a PTime solution to the HDness problem of Büchi and coBüchi automata, and it is conjectured that 2-token games characterise HDness for all $\omega$-regular automata. We extend token games to the quantitative setting and analyse their potential to help deciding HDness of quantitative automata. In particular, we show that 1-token games characterise HDness for all quantitative (and Boolean) automata on finite words, as well as discounted-sum (DSum), Inf and Reachability automata on infinite words, and that 2-token games characterise HDness of LimInf and LimSup automata, as well as Sup automata on infinite words. Using these characterisations, we provide solutions to the HDness problem of Safety, Reachability, Inf and Sup automata on finite and infinite words in PTime, of DSum automata on finite and infinite words in NP$\cap$co-NP, of LimSup automata in quasipolynomial time, and of LimInf automata in exponential time, where the latter two are […]

9. The Power-Set Construction for Tree Algebras

Achim Blumensath.
We study power-set operations on classes of trees and tree algebras. Our main result consists of a distributive law between the tree monad and the upwards-closed power-set monad, in the case where all trees are assumed to be linear. For non-linear ones, we prove that such a distributive law does not exist.

10. A categorical characterization of relative entropy on standard Borel spaces

Nicolas Gagne ; Prakash Panangaden.
We give a categorical treatment, in the spirit of Baez and Fritz, of relative entropy for probability distributions defined on standard Borel spaces. We define a category suitable for reasoning about statistical inference on standard Borel spaces. We define relative entropy as a functor into Lawvere's category and we show convexity, lower semicontinuity and uniqueness.

11. Making first order linear logic a generating grammar

Sergey Slavnov.
It is known that different categorial grammars have surface representation in a fragment of first order multiplicative linear logic (MLL1). We show that the fragment of interest is equivalent to the recently introduced extended tensor type calculus (ETTC). ETTC is a calculus of specific typed terms, which represent tuples of strings, more precisely bipartite graphs decorated with strings. Types are derived from linear logic formulas, and rules correspond to concrete operations on these string-labeled graphs, so that they can be conveniently visualized. This provides the above mentioned fragment of MLL1 that is relevant for language modeling not only with some alternative syntax and intuitive geometric representation, but also with an intrinsic deductive system, which has been absent. In this work we consider a non-trivial notationally enriched variation of the previously introduced ETTC, which allows more concise and transparent computations. We present both a cut-free sequent calculus and a natural deduction formalism.

12. Aperiodicity, Star-freeness, and First-order Logic Definability of Operator Precedence Languages

Dino Mandrioli ; Matteo Pradella ; Stefano Crespi Reghizzi.
A classic result in formal language theory is the equivalence among non-counting, or aperiodic, regular languages, and languages defined through star-free regular expressions, or first-order logic. Past attempts to extend this result beyond the realm of regular languages have met with difficulties: for instance it is known that star-free tree languages may violate the non-counting property and there are aperiodic tree languages that cannot be defined through first-order logic. We extend such classic equivalence results to a significant family of deterministic context-free languages, the operator-precedence languages (OPL), which strictly includes the widely investigated visibly pushdown, alias input-driven, family and other structured context-free languages. The OP model originated in the '60s for defining programming languages and is still used by high performance compilers; its rich algebraic properties have been investigated initially in connection with grammar learning and recently completed with further closure properties and with monadic second order logic definition. We introduce an extension of regular expressions, the OP-expressions (OPE) which define the OPLs and, under the star-free hypothesis, define first-order definable and non-counting OPLs. Then, we prove, through a fairly articulated grammar transformation, that aperiodic OPLs are first-order definable. Thus, the classic equivalence of star-freeness, aperiodicity, and first-order definability is established […]

13. A model of actors and grey failures

Laura Bocchi ; Julien Lange ; Simon Thompson ; A. Laura Voinea.
Existing models for the analysis of concurrent processes tend to focus on fail-stop failures, where processes are either working or permanently stopped, and their state (working/stopped) is known. In fact, systems are often affected by grey failures: failures that are latent, possibly transient, and may affect the system in subtle ways that later lead to major issues (such as crashes, limited availability, overload). We introduce a model of actor-based systems with grey failures, based on two interlinked layers: an actor model, given as an asynchronous process calculus with discrete time, and a failure model that represents failure patterns to inject in the system. Our failure model captures not only fail-stop node and link failures, but also grey failures (e.g., partial, transient). We give a behavioural equivalence relation based on weak barbed bisimulation to compare systems on the basis of their ability to recover from failures, and on this basis we define some desirable properties of reliable systems. By doing so, we reduce the problem of checking reliability properties of systems to the problem of checking bisimulation.

14. FTMPST: Fault-Tolerant Multiparty Session Types

Kirstin Peters ; Uwe Nestmann ; Christoph Wagner.
Multiparty session types are designed to abstractly capture the structure of communication protocols and verify behavioural properties. One important such property is progress, i.e., the absence of deadlock. Distributed algorithms often resemble multiparty communication protocols. But proving their properties, in particular termination that is closely related to progress, can be elaborate. Since distributed algorithms are often designed to cope with faults, a first step towards using session types to verify distributed algorithms is to integrate fault-tolerance. We extend multiparty session types to cope with system failures such as unreliable communication and process crashes. Moreover, we augment the semantics of processes by failure patterns that can be used to represent system requirements (as, e.g., failure detectors). To illustrate our approach we analyse a variant of the well-known rotating coordinator algorithm by Chandra and Toueg.

15. Fine-Grained Complexity of Regular Path Queries

Katrin Casel ; Markus L. Schmid.
A regular path query (RPQ) is a regular expression q that returns all node pairs (u, v) from a graph database that are connected by an arbitrary path labelled with a word from L(q). The obvious algorithmic approach to RPQ-evaluation (called PG-approach), i.e., constructing the product graph between an NFA for q and the graph database, is appealing due to its simplicity and also leads to efficient algorithms. However, it is unclear whether the PG-approach is optimal. We address this question by thoroughly investigating which upper complexity bounds can be achieved by the PG-approach, and we complement these with conditional lower bounds (in the sense of the fine-grained complexity framework). A special focus is put on enumeration and delay bounds, as well as the data complexity perspective. A main insight is that we can achieve optimal (or near optimal) algorithms with the PG-approach, but the delay for enumeration is rather high (linear in the database). We explore three successful approaches towards enumeration with sub-linear delay: super-linear preprocessing, approximations of the solution sets, and restricted classes of RPQs.

16. Computing the Density of the Positivity Set for Linear Recurrence Sequences

Edon Kelmendi.
The set of indices that correspond to the positive entries of a sequence of numbers is called its positivity set. In this paper, we study the density of the positivity set of a given linear recurrence sequence, that is the question of how much more frequent are the positive entries compared to the non-positive ones. We show that one can compute this density to arbitrary precision, as well as decide whether it is equal to zero (or one). If the sequence is diagonalisable, we prove that its positivity set is finite if and only if its density is zero. Further, arithmetic properties of densities are treated, in particular we prove that it is decidable whether the density is a rational number, given that the recurrence sequence has at most one pair of dominant complex roots. Finally, we generalise all these results to symbolic orbits of linear dynamical systems, thereby showing that one can decide various properties of such systems, up to a set of density zero.

17. Rewriting with Acyclic Queries: Mind Your Head

Gaetano Geck ; Jens Keppeler ; Thomas Schwentick ; Christopher Spinrath.
The paper studies the rewriting problem, that is, the decision problem whether, for a given conjunctive query $Q$ and a set $\mathcal{V}$ of views, there is a conjunctive query $Q'$ over $\mathcal{V}$ that is equivalent to $Q$, for cases where the query, the views, and/or the desired rewriting are acyclic or even more restricted. It shows that, if $Q$ itself is acyclic, an acyclic rewriting exists if there is any rewriting. An analogous statement also holds for free-connex acyclic, hierarchical, and q-hierarchical queries. Regarding the complexity of the rewriting problem, the paper identifies a border between tractable and (presumably) intractable variants of the rewriting problem: for schemas of bounded arity, the acyclic rewriting problem is NP-hard, even if both $Q$ and the views in $\mathcal{V}$ are acyclic or hierarchical. However, it becomes tractable if the views are free-connex acyclic (i.e., in a nutshell, their body is (i) acyclic and (ii) remains acyclic if their head is added as an additional atom).

18. Arena-Independent Finite-Memory Determinacy in Stochastic Games

Patricia Bouyer ; Youssouf Oualhadj ; Mickael Randour ; Pierre Vandenhove.
We study stochastic zero-sum games on graphs, which are prevalent tools to model decision-making in presence of an antagonistic opponent in a random environment. In this setting, an important question is the one of strategy complexity: what kinds of strategies are sufficient or required to play optimally (e.g., randomization or memory requirements)? Our contributions further the understanding of arena-independent finite-memory (AIFM) determinacy, i.e., the study of objectives for which memory is needed, but in a way that only depends on limited parameters of the game graphs. First, we show that objectives for which pure AIFM strategies suffice to play optimally also admit pure AIFM subgame perfect strategies. Second, we show that we can reduce the study of objectives for which pure AIFM strategies suffice in two-player stochastic games to the easier study of one-player stochastic games (i.e., Markov decision processes). Third, we characterize the sufficiency of AIFM strategies through two intuitive properties of objectives. This work extends a line of research started on deterministic games to stochastic ones.

19. Simulation by Rounds of Letter-to-Letter Transducers

Antonio Abu Nassar ; Shaull Almagor.
Letter-to-letter transducers are a standard formalism for modeling reactive systems. Often, two transducers that model similar systems differ locally from one another, by behaving similarly, up to permutations of the input and output letters within "rounds". In this work, we introduce and study notions of simulation by rounds and equivalence by rounds of transducers. In our setting, words are partitioned to consecutive subwords of a fixed length $k$, called rounds. Then, a transducer $\mathcal{T}_1$ is $k$-round simulated by transducer $\mathcal{T}_2$ if, intuitively, for every input word $x$, we can permute the letters within each round in $x$, such that the output of $\mathcal{T}_2$ on the permuted word is itself a permutation of the output of $\mathcal{T}_1$ on $x$. Finally, two transducers are $k$-round equivalent if they simulate each other. We solve two main decision problems, namely whether $\mathcal{T}_2$ $k$-round simulates $\mathcal{T}_1$ (1) when $k$ is given as input, and (2) for an existentially quantified $k$. We demonstrate the usefulness of the definitions by applying them to process symmetry: a setting in which a permutation in the identities of processes in a multi-process system naturally gives rise to two transducers, whose $k$-round equivalence corresponds to stability against such permutations.

20. A Trichotomy for Regular Trail Queries

Wim Martens ; Matthias Niewerth ; Tina Popp.
Regular path queries (RPQs) are an essential component of graph query languages. Such queries consider a regular expression r and a directed edge-labeled graph G and search for paths in G for which the sequence of labels is in the language of r. In order to avoid having to consider infinitely many paths, some database engines restrict such paths to be trails, that is, they only consider paths without repeated edges. In this paper we consider the evaluation problem for RPQs under trail semantics, in the case where the expression is fixed. We show that, in this setting, there exists a trichotomy. More precisely, the complexity of RPQ evaluation divides the regular languages into the finite languages, the class Ttract (for which the problem is tractable), and the rest. Interestingly, the tractable class in the trichotomy is larger than for the trichotomy for simple paths, discovered by Bagan, Bonifati, and Groz [JCSS 2020]. In addition to this trichotomy result, we also study characterizations of the tractable class, its expressivity, the recognition problem, closure properties, and show how the decision problem can be extended to the enumeration problem, which is relevant to practice.