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Environmental Bisimulations for Probabilistic Higher-Order Languages

Valeria Vignudelli ( University of Bologna )

The general topic of the talk are techniques for proving behavioural equivalence in languages with both probabilistic and higher-order operators.In particular, environmental bisimulations for probabilistic higher-order languages are studied. In contrast with applicative bisimulations, environmental bisimulations are known to be more robust and do not require sophisticated techniques such as Howe’s in the proofs of congruence. As representative calculi, probabilistic call-by-name and call-by-value lambda-calculus, and a probabilistic (call-by-value) lambda-calculus extended with references (i.e., a store) are considered. In each case full abstraction results are derived for probabilistic environmental similarity and bisimilarity with respect to contextual preorder and contextual equivalence, respectively. Some possible enhancements of the (bi)simulations, as ‘up-to techniques’, are also presented. Probabilities force a number of modifications to the definition of environmental bisimulations in non-probabilistic languages. Some of these modifications are specific to probabilities, others may be seen as general refinements of environmental bisimulations, applicable also to non-probabilistic languages.

This is joint work with Davide Sangiorgi.



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