Pi-Nets: A Graphical Form of pi-Calculus

Robin Milner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


An, action calculus which closely corresponds to the π-calculus is presented in graphical form, as so-called π -nets. First an elementary form of π-net, with no sequential control, is presented. Then, using a construction by Honda and Tokoro, it is shown informally that by adding a single control construction box to elementary π-nets, the sequential control present in the π-calculus can be recovered. (Another construction, rep, provides replication.) The graphical presentation suggests a few interesting variants of this control regime, which are studied briefly. The main purpose of the paper is to explore informally the power and utility of graphical forms of the π-calculus, in the context of action calculi. It also suggests that graphical forms of other action calculi should be explored.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgramming Languages and Systems — ESOP '94
Subtitle of host publication5th European Symposium on Programming Edinburg, U.K., April 11–13, 1994 Proceedings
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-540-48376-2
Publication statusPublished - 1994

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