Finding symmetry in models of concurrent systems by static channel diagram analysis

Donaldson, A.F., Miller, A. and Calder, M. (2005) Finding symmetry in models of concurrent systems by static channel diagram analysis. Theoretical Computer Science, 128(6), pp. 161-177. (doi: 10.1016/j.entcs.2005.04.010)



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Over the last decade there has been much interest in exploiting symmetry to combat the state explosion problem in model checking. Although symmetry in a model often arises as a result of symmetry in the topology of the system being modelled, most model checkers which exploit structural symmetry are limited to topologies which exhibit total symmetries, such as stars and cliques. We define the static channel diagram of a concurrent, message passing program, and show that under certain restrictions there is a correspondence between symmetries of the static channel diagram of a program and symmetries of the Kripke structure associated with the program. This allows the detection, and potential exploitation, of structural symmetry in systems with arbitrary topologies. Our method of symmetry detection can handle mobile systems where channel references are passed on channels, resulting in a dynamic communication structure. We illustrate our results with an example using the Promela modelling language.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Model checking; symmetry; concurrency; distributed systems; formal verification; Promela/Spin
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Calder, Professor Muffy and Miller, Professor Alice
Authors: Donaldson, A.F., Miller, A., and Calder, M.
Subjects:Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Journal Name:Theoretical Computer Science
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2005 Elseiver
First Published:First published in Theoretical Computer Science 128(6):161-177
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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