Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Logical, Metric, and Algorithmic
Characterisations of Probabilistic Bisimulation

Yuxin Deng*, Wenjie Du**

March 2011


Keywords: Probabilistic concurrency theory, bisimulation, logic, metric, algorithm

Many behavioural equivalences or preorders for probabilistic processes involve a lifting operation that turns a relation on states into a relation on distributions of states. We show that several existing proposals for lifting relations can be reconciled to be different presentations of essentially the same lifting operation. More interestingly, this lifting operation nicely corresponds to the Kantorovich metric, a fundamental concept used in mathematics to lift a metric on states to a metric on distributions of states, besides the fact the lifting operation is related to the maximum flow problem in optimisation theory.

The lifting operation yields a neat notion of probabilistic bisimulation, for which we provide logical, metric, and algorithmic characterisations. Specically, we extend the Hennessy-Milner logic and the modal mu-calculus with a new modality, resulting in an adequate and an expressive logic for probabilistic bisimilarity, respectively. The correspondence of the lifting operation and the Kantorovich metric leads to a natural characterisation of bisimulations as pseudometrics which are post-fixed points of a monotone function. We also present an "on the fly" algorithm to check if two states in a finitary system are related by probabilistic bisimilarity, exploiting the close relationship between the lifting operation and the maximum flow problem.

32 pages

  *Carnegie Mellon University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Chinese Academy of Sciences
**Shanghai Normal University

Return to: SCS Technical Report Collection
School of Computer Science

This page maintained by