Concurrency Theory: Calculi an Automata for Modelling Untimed and Timed Concurrent Systems

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Intheworldweliveinconcurrencyisthenorm.Forexample,thehumanbody isamassivelyconcurrentsystem,comprisingahugenumberofcells,allsim- taneously evolving and independently engaging in their individual biological processing.Inaddition,inthebiologicalworld,trulysequentialsystemsrarely arise. However, they are more common when manmade artefacts are cons- ered. In particular, computer systems are often developed from a sequential perspective. Why is this? The simple reason is that it is easier for us to think about sequential, rather than concurrent, systems. Thus, we use sequentiality as a device to simplify the design process. However, the need for increasingly powerful, ?exible and usable computer systems mitigates against simplifying sequentiality assumptions. A good - ample of this is the all-powerful position held by the Internet, which is highly concurrent at many di?erent levels of decomposition. Thus, the modern c- puter scientist (and indeed the modern scientist in general) is forced to think aboutconcurrentsystemsandthesubtleandintricatebehaviourthatemerges from the interaction of simultaneously evolving components. Over a period of 25 years, or so, the ?eld of concurrency theory has been involved in the development of a set of mathematical techniques that can help system developers to think about and build concurrent systems. These theories are the subject matter of this book.