In: Information and Computation 171 (1), pages 1-49. November 2001.
Abstract: We present an event structure semantics for contextual nets, an extension of P/T Petri nets where transitions can check for the presence of tokens without consuming them (read-only operations). A basic role is played by asymmetric event structures, a generalization of Winskel's prime event structures where symmetric conflict is replaced by a relation modelling asymmetric conflict or weak causality, used to represent a new kind of dependency between events arising in contextual nets. Extending Winskel's seminal work on safe nets, the truly concurrent event-based semantics of contextual nets is given at categorical level via a chain of coreflections leading from the category SW-CN of semi-weighted contextual nets to the category Dom of finitary prime algebraic domains. First an unfolding construction generates from a contextual net a corresponding occurrence contextual net, from where an asymmetric event structure is extracted. Then the configurations of the asymmetric event structure, endowed with a suitable order, are shown to form a finitary prime algebraic domain. We also investigate the relation between the proposed unfolding semantics and several deterministic process semantics for contextual nets in the literature. In particular, the domain obtained via the unfolding is characterized as the collection of the deterministic processes of the net endowed with a kind of prefix ordering.
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