Confluence in Concurrent Constraint Programming

Concurrent constraint programming (ccp), like most of the concurrent paradigms, has a mechanism of global choice which makes computations dependent on the scheduling of processes. This is one of the main reasons why the formal semantics of ccp is more complicated than the one of its deterministic and local-choice sublanguages. In this paper we study various subsets of ccp obtained by adding some restriction on the notion of choice, or by requiring confluency, i.e. independency from the scheduling strategy. We show that it is possible to define simple denotational semantics for these subsets, for various notions of observables. Finally, as an application of our results we develop a framework for the compositional analysis of full ccp. The basic idea is to approximate an arbitrary ccp program by a program in the restricted language, and then analyze the latter, by applying the standard techniques of abstract interpretation to its denotational semantics.