Partial-order process algebra (and its relation to Petri nets)

J.C.M. Baeten, T. Basten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


To date, many different formalisms exist for describing and analyzing the behavior of concurrent systems. Petri nets and process algebras are two well-known classes of such formalisms. Petri-net theory is well suited for reasoning about concurrent systems in a partiaI-order framework; it handles causal relationships between actions of concurrent systems in an explicit way. Process algebras, on the other hand, often provide a total-order framework, which means that information about causalities is not always accurate. This chapter illustrates how to develop a partial-order process algebra in the style of ACP. It is shown how to extend such an algebraic theory with a causality mechanism inspired by Petri-net theory. In addition, the chapter clarifies the concepts of interleaving and non-interleaving process algebra; total-order semantics for concurrent systems are often incorrectly referred to as interleaving semantics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Process Algebra
EditorsJ.A. Bergstra, A Ponse, S.A. Smolka
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
ISBN (Print)0-444-82830-3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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