The Power of Convex Algebras

Authors Filippo Bonchi, Alexandra Silva, Ana Sokolova

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Filippo Bonchi
Alexandra Silva
Ana Sokolova

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Filippo Bonchi, Alexandra Silva, and Ana Sokolova. The Power of Convex Algebras. In 28th International Conference on Concurrency Theory (CONCUR 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 85, pp. 23:1-23:18, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)


Probabilistic automata (PA) combine probability and nondeterminism. They can be given different semantics, like strong bisimilarity, convex bisimilarity, or (more recently) distribution bisimilarity. The latter is based on the view of PA as transformers of probability distributions, also called belief states, and promotes distributions to first-class citizens. We give a coalgebraic account of the latter semantics, and explain the genesis of the belief-state transformer from a PA. To do so, we make explicit the convex algebraic structure present in PA and identify belief-state transformers as transition systems with state space that carries a convex algebra. As a consequence of our abstract approach, we can give a sound proof technique which we call bisimulation up-to convex hull.
  • belief-state transformers
  • bisimulation up-to
  • coalgebra
  • convex algebra
  • convex powerset monad
  • probabilistic automata


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