Tags:angelic and demonic nondeterminism, probabilistic VASS and termination time

Abstract:

A probabilistic vector addition system with states (pVASS) is a finite state Markov process augmented with non-negative integer counters that can be incremented or decremented during each state transition, blocking any behaviour that would cause a counter to decrease below zero. The pVASS have many decidable properties and can be used abstractions of probabilistic programs. The use of pVASS as abstractions requires us the presence of nondeterminism in the model. In this paper, we develop techniques for checking fast termination of pVASS with nondeterminism. That is, for every initial configuration of size n, we consider the worst expected number of transitions needed to reach a configuration with some counter negative (the expected termination time). We show that the problem whether the asymptotic expected termination time is linear is decidable in polynomial time for a certain natural class of pVASS with nondeterminism. Furthermore, we show the following dichotomy: if the asymptotic expected termination time is not linear, then it is at least quadratic, i.e. in \Omega(n^2).

Deciding Fast Termination for Probabilistic VASS with Nondeterminism