## Algebraic Topology And Concurrency (1998)

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Venue: | Theoretical Computer Science |

Citations: | 39 - 8 self |

### BibTeX

@TECHREPORT{Fajstrup98algebraictopology,

author = {Lisbeth Fajstrup and Eric Goubault and Martin Raußen},

title = {Algebraic Topology And Concurrency},

institution = {Theoretical Computer Science},

year = {1998}

}

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### Abstract

This article is intended to provide some new insights about concurrency theory using ideas from geometry, and more specifically from algebraic topology. The aim of the paper is two-fold: we justify applications of geometrical methods in concurrency through some chosen examples and we give the mathematical foundations needed to understand the geometric phenomenon that we identify. In particular we show that the usual notion of homotopy has to be refined to take into account some partial ordering describing the way time goes. This gives rise to some new interesting mathematical problems as well as give some common grounds to computer-scientific problems that have not been precisely related otherwise in the past. The organization of the paper is as follows. In Section 2 we explain to which extent we can use some geometrical ideas in computer science: we list a few of the potential or well known areas of application and try to exemplify some of the properties of concurrent (and distributed) systems we are interested in. We first explain the interest of using some geometric ideas for semantical reasons. Then we take the example of concurrent databases with the problem of finding deadlocks and with some aspects of serializability theory. More general questions about schedules can be asked as well and related to some geometric considerations, even for scheduling micro-instructions (and not only coarse-grained transactions as for databases). The final example is the one of fault-tolerant protocols for distributed systems, where subtle scheduling properties go into play. In Section 3 we give the first few definitions needed for modeling the topological spaces arising from Section 2. Basically, we need to define a topological space containing all traces of executions of the concu...