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Synchronizability of Communicating Finite State Machines is not Decidable

Authors Alain Finkel, Etienne Lozes

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Alain Finkel
Etienne Lozes

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Alain Finkel and Etienne Lozes. Synchronizability of Communicating Finite State Machines is not Decidable. In 44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 80, pp. 122:1-122:14, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)


A system of communicating finite state machines is synchronizable if its send trace semantics, i.e. the set of sequences of sendings it can perform, is the same when its communications are FIFO asynchronous and when they are just rendez-vous synchronizations. This property was claimed to be decidable in several conference and journal papers for either mailboxes or peer-to-peer communications, thanks to a form of small model property. In this paper, we show that this small model property does not hold neither for mailbox communications, nor for peer-to-peer communications, therefore the decidability of synchronizability becomes an open question. We close this question for peer-to-peer communications, and we show that synchronizability is actually undecidable. We show that synchronizability is decidable if the topology of communications is an oriented ring. We also show that, in this case, synchronizability implies the absence of unspecified receptions and orphan messages, and the channel-recognizability of the reachability set.
  • verification
  • distributed system
  • asynchronous communications
  • choreographies


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