Calculus of communicating systems

The calculus of communicating systems (CCS) is a process calculus introduced by Robin Milner around 1980 and the title of a book describing the calculus. Its actions model indivisible communications between exactly two participants. The formal language includes primitives for describing parallel composition, choice between actions and scope restriction. CCS is useful for evaluating the qualitative correctness of properties of a system such as deadlock or livelock.[1]

According to Milner, "There is nothing canonical about the choice of the basic combinators, even though they were chosen with great attention to economy. What characterises our calculus is not the exact choice of combinators, but rather the choice of interpretation and of mathematical framework".

The expressions of the language are interpreted as a labelled transition system. Between these models, bisimilarity is used as a semantic equivalence.


Given a set of action names, the set of CCS processes is defined by the following BNF grammar:


The parts of the syntax are, in the order given above

empty process 
the empty process   is a valid CCS process
the process   can perform an action   and continue as the process  
process identifier 
write   to use the identifier   to refer to the process   (which may contain the identifier   itself, i.e., recursive definitions are allowed)
the process   can proceed either as the process   or the process  
parallel composition 
  tells that processes   and   exist simultaneously
  is the process   with all actions named   renamed as  
  is the process   without action  

Related calculi, models, and languagesEdit

Some other languages based on CCS:

Models that have been used in the study of CCS-like systems:


  • Robin Milner: A Calculus of Communicating Systems, Springer Verlag, ISBN 0-387-10235-3. 1980.
  • Robin Milner, Communication and Concurrency, Prentice Hall, International Series in Computer Science, ISBN 0-13-115007-3. 1989
  1. ^ Herzog, Ulrich, ed. (May 2007). "Tackling Large State Spaces in Performance Modelling". Formal Methods for Performance Evaluation. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 4486. Springer. pp. 318–370. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-72522-0. ISBN 978-3-540-72482-7. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  2. ^ A Philippou, M Toro, M Antonaki. Simulation and Verification in a Process Calculus for Spatially-Explicit Ecological Models. Scientific Annals of Computer Science 23 (1). 2014
  3. ^ Montesi, Fabrizio; Guidi, Claudio; Lucchi, Roberto; Zavattaro, Gianluigi (2007-06-27). "JOLIE: a Java Orchestration Language Interpreter Engine". Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science. Combined Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Coordination and Organization (CoOrg 2006) and the Second International Workshop on Methods and Tools for Coordinating Concurrent, Distributed and Mobile Systems (MTCoord 2006). 181: 19–33. doi:10.1016/j.entcs.2007.01.051. ISSN 1571-0661.