Processes, Roles and Their Interactions

Johannes Reich

Taking an interaction network oriented perspective in informatics raises the challenge to describe deterministic finite systems which take part in networks of nondeterministic interactions. The traditional approach to describe processes as stepwise executable activities which are not based on the ordinarily nondeterministic interaction shows strong centralization tendencies. As suggested in this article, viewing processes and their interactions as complementary can circumvent these centralization tendencies.

The description of both, processes and their interactions is based on the same building blocks, namely finite input output automata (or transducers). Processes are viewed as finite systems that take part in multiple, ordinarily nondeterministic interactions. The interactions between processes are described as protocols.

The effects of communication between processes as well as the necessary coordination of different interactions within a processes are both based on the restriction of the transition relation of product automata. The channel based outer coupling represents the causal relation between the output and the input of different systems. The coordination condition based inner coupling represents the causal relation between the input and output of a single system.

All steps are illustrated with the example of a network of resource administration processes which is supposed to provide requesting user processes exclusive access to a single resource.

In Johannes Reich and Bernd Finkbeiner: Proceedings Second International Workshop on Interactions, Games and Protocols (IWIGP 2012), Tallinn, Estonia, 25th March 2012, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 78, pp. 24–38.
Published: 20th February 2012.

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