We propose a refinement of branching bisimulation equivalence that we call orthogonal bisimulation equivalence. Typically, internal activity (the performance of τ-steps) may be compressed,\ud but not completely discarded. Hence, a process with τ-steps cannot be equivalent to one without τ-steps. Also, we present a modal characterization of orthogonal bisimulation equivalence. This equivalence is a congruence for ACP extended with abstraction and priority operators. We provide a complete axiomatization, and describe some expressiveness results. Finally, we present the verification of a PAR protocol that is specified with use of priorities
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