The Pi Calculus and its Applications [chapter]

Robin Milner
1997 IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology  
The pi calculus (MPW92, Mil93] was defined by Milner, Parrow and Walker as a "Calculus of Mobile Processes", extending work by Engberg and Nielsen (EN86]. It provides an underlying formal model for interactive systems which can change their configuration on the fly; this spans a large spectrum from mobile telephone networks to Java-like languages. The calculus aims to be a model for interactive behaviour as basic as is the lambda calculus for sequential computation. In fact, the lambda calculus
more » ... can be modelled straightforwardly within it, and thus sequential computation can be seen as a special case of interaction. The pi calculus is very simple; in my talk I shall presume no previous knowledge of it, but I shall not need to spend long in describing its primitive constructions. I shall focus on how it can be applied; in particular, how it admits a pleasant type system in which "type" can be understood to mean "pattern of interaction". In particular, I shall show how properties like "each mobile agent (ambulance? .. ) will never be connected to more than one transmitter station at a time" are statically checkable types. If time allows, I shall briefly discuss the language PICT (for distributed interactive systems) based upon pi calculus by Pierce and Turner (PT97], and the application of pi calculus to model authentication protocols by Abadi and Gordon (AG97]. REFERENCES (AG97] (EN86]
doi:10.1007/978-0-387-35261-9_1 fatcat:h3deq3grpzh6bauvcbu77qye6q