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PZ: A Z-based Formalism for Modeling Probabilistic Behavior

Authors: Hassan Haghighi

Abstract:

Probabilistic techniques in computer programs are becoming more and more widely used. Therefore, there is a big interest in the formal specification, verification, and development of probabilistic programs. In our work-in-progress project, we are attempting to make a constructive framework for developing probabilistic programs formally. The main contribution of this paper is to introduce an intermediate artifact of our work, a Z-based formalism called PZ, by which one can build set theoretical models of probabilistic programs. We propose to use a constructive set theory, called CZ set theory, to interpret the specifications written in PZ. Since CZ has an interpretation in Martin-L¨of-s theory of types, this idea enables us to derive probabilistic programs from correctness proofs of their PZ specifications.

Keywords: formal specification, formal program development, probabilistic programs, CZ set theory, type theory.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1056098

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