Bisimulation from Open Maps

André Joyal, Mogens Nielsen, and Glynn Winskel

May 1994


An abstract definition of bisimulation is presented. It enables a uniform definition of bisimulation across a range of different models for parallel computation presented as categories. As examples, transition systems, synchronisation trees, transition systems with independence (an abstraction from Petri nets) and labelled event structures are considered. On transition systems the abstract definition readily specialises to Milner's strong bisimulation. On event structures it explains and leads to a revision of history-preserving bisimulation of Rabinovitch and Traktenbrot, Goltz and van Glabeek. A tie-up with open maps in a (pre)topos, as they appear in the work of Joyal and Moerdijk, brings to light a promising new model, presheaves on categories of pomsets, into which the usual category of labelled event structures embeds fully and faithfully. As an indication of its promise, this new presheaf model has ``refinement'' operators, though further work is required to justify their appropriateness and understand their relation to previous attempts. The general approach yields a logic, generalising Hennessy-Milner logic, which is characteristic for the generalised notion of bisimulation.

Available as PostScript, PDF, DVI.


Last modified: 2003-06-08 by webmaster.