Process algebra for performance evaluation


This paper surveys the theoretical developments in the field of stochastic process algebras, process algebras where action occurrences may be subject to a delay that is determined by a random variable. A huge class of resource-sharing systems – like large-scale computers, client–server architectures, networks – can accurately be described using such stochastic specification formalisms. The main emphasis of this paper is the treatment of operational semantics, notions of equivalence, and (sound and complete) axiomatisations of these equivalences for different types of Markovian process algebras, where delays are governed by exponential distributions. Starting from a simple actionless algebra for describing time-homogeneous continuous-time Markov chains, we consider the integration of actions and random delays both as a single entity (like in known Markovian process algebras like TIPP, PEPA and EMPA) and as separate entities (like in the timed process algebras timed CSP and TCCS). In total we consider four related calculi and investigate their relationship to existing Markovian process algebras. We also briefly indicate how one can profit from the separation of time and actions when incorporating more general, non-Markovian distributions

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