Initial Meeting

We will have an initial meeting on October 20, 2011 at 18:00 (s.t.) in room 528 (Bldg. E1 3).


  • An initial list of papers and topics for the seminar is available here.
  • The slides of the initial meeting are here.
  • The schedule of the seminar has changed. The update is available here.
  • The program for the seminar talks on March 12 & 13 are online.


Seminar papers

Decidable subsets of CCS

Sven Dziadek

A complete axiomatization for observational congruence

Felix Klein

Foundations of the Pi calculus

Simon Heinzel

Undecidability of bisimilarity for Petri nets

Tobias Salzmann

Event structures

Markus Hoffmann

Mobile ambients

Max-Ferdinand Gerhard Suffel

Overview of the seminar

The huge success story of computer science is significantly based on the enormous and constant increase of computation power over the last decades. Processing speed has been doubling at least every two years. However, physical limitation will put an end to this development in the near future. Massive parallelism will supersede speed as the main source of processing power. Even more, already today concurrent systems are ubiquitous, their usage sites being mobile phones, cars and even washing machines.


Despite its importance and more than three decades of highly active research, concurrent systems are still less understood than sequenial systems. A comprehensive model of concurrency, comparable to Turing machines and the lambda calculus, has not yet been found for concurrent

settings. In our seminar we will study some of the most important models and results for concurrency, and we will see why concurrency is so difficult to understand.


The goal of the seminar is to provide a broad overview of the theoretical underpinnings of concurrency theory. For example, we will discuss popular process algebras such as CCS, the pi calculus and mobile ambients. Further topics include input/output automata, modal transition systems and Petri nets as well as models of true (i.e. non-interleaving) concurrency.


We selected a number of papers for each of these areas. Participation in the seminar includes writing a paper (approx. 20 pages) to give some motivation, examples, links to relevant literature and to provide the theoretical background of the selected topic. Secondly, each participant gives a formal presentation (approx. 45 minutes) to explain the topic to the audience.

Time and location

The seminar will take place at the end of the winter term as a block seminar.


Depending on the number of participants, we might set up a reading group (organized by the participants) during the semester to work on and discuss about scientific literature on basic concurrency topics such as CCS and the pi calculus. In this case, preparing and moderating the reading group replaces the written report.

However, each participant still has to give a formal presentation of one of the more advanced topics at the end of term, which remains the main contribution to the seminar.


The exact times and dates for the meetings will be fixed during the first meeting on October 20th (see above).


If you want to participate in the seminar, please pre-register at our course managment system.


This seminar addresses master or bachelor students in computer science. Some exposure to concurrency theory (e.g. Concurrent Programming) will prove helpful, but is not strictly required.


Dr. Martin Neuhäußer