Report Number: CS-TN-97-57
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: Axiomatizing Flat Iteration
Author: Glabbeek, R.J. van
Date: April 1997
Abstract: Flat iteration is a variation on the original binary version of the Kleene star operation P*Q, obtained by restricting the first argument to be a sum of atomic actions. It generalizes prefix iteration, in which the first argument is a single action. Complete finite equational axiomatizations are given for five notions of bisimulation congruence over basic CCS with flat iteration, viz. strong congruence, branching congruence, eta-congruence, delay congruence and weak congruence. Such axiomatizations were already known for prefix iteration and are known not to exist for general iteration. The use of flat iteration has two main advantages over prefix iteration: 1. The current axiomatizations generalize to full CCS, whereas the prefix iteration approach does not allow an elimination theorem for an asynchronous parallel composition operator. 2. The greater expressiveness of flat iteration allows for much shorter completeness proofs. In the setting of prefix iteration, the most convenient way to obtain the completeness theorems for eta-, delay, and weak congruence was by reduction to the completeness theorem for branching congruence. In the case of weak congruence this turned out to be much simpler than the only direct proof found. In the setting of flat iteration on the other hand, the completeness theorems for delay and weak (but not eta-) congruence can equally well be obtained by reduction to the one for strong congruence, without using branching congruence as an intermediate step. Moreover, the completeness results for prefix iteration can be retrieved from those for flat iteration, thus obtaining a second indirect approach for proving completeness for delay and weak congruence in the setting of prefix iteration.