Termination of probabilistic concurrent programs

Sergiu Hart, Micha Sharir, Amir Pnueli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

The asynchronous execution behavior of several concurrent processes, which may use randomization, is studied. Viewing each process as a discrete Markov chain over the set of common execution states, we give necessary and sufficient conditions for the processes to converge almost surely to a given set of goal states, under any fair, but otherwise arbitrary schedule, provided that the state space is finite. (These conditions can be checked mechanically.) An interesting feature of the proof method is that it depends only on the topology of the transitions and not on the actual values of the probabilities. We also show that in our model synchronization protocols that use randomization are in certain cases no more powerful than deterministic protocols. This is demonstrated by (a) Proving lower bounds on the size of a shared variable necessary to ensure mutual exlusion and lockout-free behavior of the protocol; and (b) Showing that no fully symmetric 'randomized' protocol can ensure mutual exclusion and freedom from lockout.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages, POPL 1982
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages1-6
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)0897910656
DOIs
StatePublished - 25 Jan 1982
Event9th ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages, POPL 1982 - Albuquerque, Mexico
Duration: 25 Jan 198227 Jan 1982

Publication series

NameConference Record of the Annual ACM Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages
ISSN (Print)0730-8566

Conference

Conference9th ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages, POPL 1982
Country/TerritoryMexico
CityAlbuquerque
Period25/01/8227/01/82

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