COPLAS talk: Glynn Winskel - Concurrent games and strategies


Concurrent games and strategies are based on event structures, a model of computation which focusses on causal dependencies and conflicts between events, in which histories are represented as partial orders of events - they are closely related to Petri nets. Concurrent games have been advanced as an up-to-date foundation for computation much better suited to the interactive and quantitative aspects of computation as we find it today than, say, traditional domain theory. In this talk I will introduce concurrent games and event structures, outline their successes in a range of areas - in semantics of classical proof, weak memory, probabilistic and quantum computation - and what I see as the important next steps in their development.


Glynn Winskel is professor at University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory and Turing Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute. He was awarded an Advanced Grant by the European Research Council 'Events, Causality and Symmetry---the next generation semantics' in 2011. Also, he is a member of the Academia Europaea.

He is probably best known for his work generalising the methodology of domain theory and denotational semantics to concurrent computation, and as the main developer of event structures. He sees his research as developing the mathematics with which to understand and analyze computation, its nature, power and limitations. Computation today is highly distributed and interactive, often probabilistic, and sometimes based in quantum theory or biology. Traditional models fall short: they are either too low level (as with 'Turing machines') or have abstracted too early from operational and quantitative concerns (the case with domain theory, the classical foundation of denotational semantics). His distributed games arguably provide the most versatile foundation for denotational semantics we have.

The talk will be up to 2x45 minutes