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Publications - Game Characterization of Probabilistic Bisimilarity, and Applications to Pushdown Automata


Vojtěch Forejt, Petr Jančar, Stefan Kiefer, and James Worrell. Game characterization of probabilistic bisimilarity, and applications to pushdown automata. Logical Methods in Computer Science (LMCS), 14(4), 2018.


We study the bisimilarity problem for probabilistic pushdown automata (pPDA) and subclasses thereof. Our definition of pPDA allows both probabilistic and non-deterministic branching, generalising the classical notion of pushdown automata (without epsilon-transitions). We first show a general characterization of probabilistic bisimilarity in terms of two-player games, which naturally reduces checking bisimilarity of probabilistic labelled transition systems to checking bisimilarity of standard (non-deterministic) labelled transition systems. This reduction can be easily implemented in the framework of pPDA, allowing to use known results for standard (non-probabilistic) PDA and their subclasses. A direct use of the reduction incurs an exponential increase of complexity, which does not matter in deriving decidability of bisimilarity for pPDA due to the non-elementary complexity of the problem. In the cases of probabilistic one-counter automata (pOCA), of probabilistic visibly pushdown automata (pvPDA), and of probabilistic basic process algebras (i.e., single-state pPDA) we show that an implicit use of the reduction can avoid the complexity increase; we thus get PSPACE, EXPTIME, and 2-EXPTIME upper bounds, respectively, like for the respective non-probabilistic versions. The bisimilarity problems for OCA and vPDA are known to have matching lower bounds (thus being PSPACE-complete and EXPTIME-complete, respectively); we show that these lower bounds also hold for fully probabilistic versions that do not use non-determinism.

Suggested BibTeX entry:

    author = {Vojt\v{e}ch Forejt and Petr Jan\v{c}ar and Stefan Kiefer and James Worrell},
    journal = {Logical Methods in Computer Science (LMCS)},
    number = {4},
    title = {Game Characterization of Probabilistic Bisimilarity, and Applications to Pushdown Automata},
    volume = {14},
    year = {2018}

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