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ASSERTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL APPROACHES TO CONCURRENCY
 

Summary: ASSERTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL APPROACHES TO
CONCURRENCY
Uri Abraham, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel
Abstract
We compare two proofs of the mutual-exclusion property of the well known critical
section algorithm of Peterson: an assertional proof and a behavioral one. The accepted
view is that behavioral proofs are informal and are, for some intrinsic reason, error prone.
We try to present a different view and to outline a framework within which the behavioral
approach can be formalized in a way that keeps the intuitive content of the behavioral
reasoning.
1 Introduction
Behavioral reasoning is useful because it gives insight, but it is prone to errors.
A. U. Shankar, An Introduction to Assertional Reasoning, 1993.
Whereas the invariant­assertional method is well defined, and its formal development is a
well established field of pure and applied information science, the term behavioral reasoning
(or operational reasoning) is only loosely used to denote a certain pre-formal activity which
belongs, some would say, more to psychology than to computer science. Without denying the
proven industrial and theoretical value of the assertional reasoning, I argue that this strong and
successful scientific activity has neglected the need to develop the behavioral approach, not as
a substitute to the assertional method, but as a way to explain algorithmic ideas and to develop

  

Source: Aceto, Luca - School of Computer Science, Reykjavķk University

 

Collections: Mathematics; Computer Technologies and Information Sciences