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Model Checking Stochastic Branching Processes

Stefan Kiefer ( University of Oxford )
Stochastic branching processes are a classical model for describing random trees, which have applications in numerous fields including biology, physics, and natural language processing. In particular, they have recently been proposed to describe parallel programs with stochastic process creation. We consider the problem of model checking stochastic branching process. Given a branching process and a deterministic parity tree automaton, we are interested in computing the probability that the generated random tree is accepted by the automaton. We show that this probability can be compared with any rational number in PSPACE, and with 0 and 1 in polynomial time. We also suggest a tree extension of the logic PCTL, and develop a PSPACE algorithm for model checking a branching process against a formula of this logic. We also show that the qualitative fragment of this logic can be model checked in polynomial time.

Joint work with Taolue Chen and Klaus Dräger.

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