A Counterexample to Thiagarajan's Conjecture on Regular Event Structures

Authors Jérémie Chalopin, Victor Chepoi

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Jérémie Chalopin
Victor Chepoi

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Jérémie Chalopin and Victor Chepoi. A Counterexample to Thiagarajan's Conjecture on Regular Event Structures. In 44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 80, pp. 101:1-101:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)


We provide a counterexample to a conjecture by Thiagarajan (1996 and 2002) that regular prime event structures correspond exactly to those obtained as unfoldings of finite 1-safe Petri nets. The same counterexample is used to disprove a closely related conjecture by Badouel, Darondeau, and Raoult (1999) that domains of regular event structures with bounded natural-cliques are recognizable by finite trace automata. Event structures, trace automata, and Petri nets are fundamental models in concurrency theory. There exist nice interpretations of these structures as combinatorial and geometric objects and both conjectures can be reformulated in this framework. Namely, the domains of prime event structures correspond exactly to pointed median graphs; from a geometric point of view, these domains are in bijection with pointed CAT(0) cube complexes. A necessary condition for both conjectures to be true is that domains of respective regular event structures admit a regular nice labeling. To disprove these conjectures, we describe a regular event domain (with bounded natural-cliques) that does not admit a regular nice labeling. Our counterexample is derived from an example by Wise (1996 and 2007) of a nonpositively curved square complex whose universal cover is a CAT(0) square complex containing a particular plane with an aperiodic tiling.
  • Discrete event structures
  • Trace automata
  • Median graphs and CAT(0) cube Complexes
  • Unfoldings and universal covers


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