From individuals to populations: a mean field semantics for process algebra

Chris McCaig, R. Norman, C. Shankland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


A new semantics in terms of mean field equations is presented for WSCCS (Weighted Synchronous Calculus of Communicating Systems). The semantics captures the average behaviour of the system over time, but without computing the entire state space, therefore avoiding the state space explosion problem. This allows easy investigation of models with large numbers of components. The new semantics is shown to be equivalent to the standard Discrete Time Markov Chain semantics of WSCCS as the number of processes tends to infinity. The method of deriving the semantics is illustrated with examples drawn from biology and from computing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1557–1580
Number of pages24
JournalTheoretical Computer Science
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • individuals
  • populations
  • mean field semantics
  • process algebra


Dive into the research topics of 'From individuals to populations: a mean field semantics for process algebra'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this