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Journal Articles Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages Year : 2023

The Geometry of Causality


We introduce a multi-token machine for Idealized Parallel Algol (IPA), a higher-order concurrent programming language with shared state and semaphores. Our machine takes the shape of a compositional interpretation of terms as Petri structures, certain coloured Petri nets. For the purely functional fragment of IPA, our machine is conceptually close to Geometry of Interaction token machines, originating from Linear Logic and presenting higher-order computation as the low-level process of a token walking through a graph (a proof net) representing the term. We combine here these ideas with folklore ideas on the representation of first-order imperative concurrent programs as coloured Petri nets. To prove our machine computationally adequate with respect to the reference operational semantics, we follow game semantics and represent types as certain games specifying dependencies and conflict between computational events. Petri strategies are those Petri structures obeying the rules of the game extracted from the type. We show how Petri strategies unfold to concurrent strategies in the sense of concurrent games on event structures. This link with concurrent strategies not only allows us to prove adequacy of our machine, but also lets us generate operationally a causal description of the behaviour of programs at higher-order types, which is shown to coincide with that given denotationally by the interpretation in concurrent games.
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Dates and versions

hal-03286443 , version 1 (15-07-2021)
hal-03286443 , version 2 (14-11-2022)



  • HAL Id : hal-03286443 , version 2


Simon Castellan, Pierre Clairambault. The Geometry of Causality: Multi-Token Geometry of Interaction and its Causal Unfolding. Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages, In press, pp.1-70. ⟨hal-03286443v2⟩
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