Department of Computer Science and Technology

Technical reports

Probabilistic concurrent game semantics

Hugo Paquet

August 2020, 156 pages

This technical report is based on a dissertation submitted September 2019 by the author for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the University of Cambridge, Homerton College.


This thesis presents a variety of models for probabilistic programming languages in the framework of concurrent games.

Our starting point is the model of concurrent games with symmetry of Castellan, Clairambault and Winskel. We show that they form a symmetric monoidal closed bicategory, and that this can be turned into a cartesian closed bicategory using a linear exponential pseudo-comonad inspired by linear logic.

Then, we enrich this with probability, relying heavily on Winskel’s model of probabilistic concurrent strategies. We see that the bicategorical structure is not perturbed by the addition of probability. We apply this model to two probabilistic languages: a probabilistic untyped λ-calculus, and Probabilistic PCF. For the former, we relate the semantics to the probabilistic Nakajima trees of Leventis, thus obtaining a characterisation of observational equivalence for programs in terms of strategies. For the latter, we show a definability result in the spirit of the game semantics tradition. This solves an open problem, as it is notoriously difficult to model Probabilistic PCF with sequential game semantics.

Finally, we introduce a model for measurable game semantics, in which games and strategies come equipped with measure-theoretic structure allowing for an accurate description of computation with continuous data types. The objective of this model is to support computation with arbitrary probability measures on the reals. In the last part of this thesis we see how this can be done by equipping strategies with parametrised families of probability measures (also known as stochastic kernels), and we construct a bicategory of measurable concurrent games and probabilistic measurable strategies.

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BibTeX record

  author =	 {Paquet, Hugo},
  title = 	 {{Probabilistic concurrent game semantics}},
  year = 	 2020,
  month = 	 aug,
  url = 	 {},
  institution =  {University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory},
  number = 	 {UCAM-CL-TR-950}