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Complete and Infinite Traces: A descriptive model of computing agents

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000127946D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-14
Document File: 14 page(s) / 39K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Kevin S. Van Horn: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A model of computing agents is presented. Computing agents are modeled as processes, which are essentially sets of traces representing possible complete sequences of actions performed by an agent and its environment. Some technical difficulties with infinite traces are resolved, with the result that one may take the parallel composition of any countable set of processes, after possibly renaming some symbols.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Complete and Infinite Traces: A descriptive model of computing agents

Kevin S. Van Horn

..

Computer Science Department California Institute of Technology

5207:TR :86

The research described in this paper was sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, ARPA Order No. 3771, and monitored by the Office of Naval Research under contract number N00014-79-C-0597

California Institute of Technology, COMPLETE AND INFINITE TRACES: A descriptive model of computing agents

Kevin S. Van Horn Department of Computer Science California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA 91125

Abstract:

A model of computing agents is presented. Computing agents are modeled as processes, which are essentially sets of traces representing possible complete sequences of actions performed by an agent and its environment. Some technical difficulties with infinite traces are resolved, with the result that one may take the parallel composition of any countable set of processes, after possibly renaming some symbols.

0. Introduction

" One indication of how well we understand some phenomenon is our ability to provide ' an adequate mathematical model of it. Such a model provides a firm basis for reasoning about the phenomenon; in its absence we are vulnerable to the treacheries of informal reasoning, and we are severely limited in our ability to analyze complex instances of the phenomenon. Computer science, as distinguished from the natural sciences, is the study of phenomena of our own invention; alas, invention does not necessarily entail comprehension. Adequate mathematical models are just as indispensable for computer science as for other disciplines. In this paper we propose a general model, CIT (Complete and Infinite Traces), of a "phenomenon" of great importance in computer science: computing agents. The motivation for developing as general a model as possible is a desire for conceptual economy. For example, many different approaches to concurrent programming have been investigated, and many proposals have been put forth for the semantics of various concur- rent languages; wouldn't it be nice if all of these could be described and reasoned about within the same underlying mathematical framework? This would facilitate the introduc- e tion of useful new programming constructs to a language without wreaking havoc with the semantics. As an example, there have been a number of proposals for the denotational semantics of CSP (?)[lj[2](31, and it is not obvious how they should be

California Institute of Technology Page 1 Dec 31, 1986

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Complete and Infinite Traces: A descriptive model of computing agents

extended to include `` Alain Martin's probe function (4). In addition, the ability to describe hardware systems

<> within this same framework would help to further erode the dichotomy between hardware and software and aid us in applying the same reasoning and design methods to both kind...