Proportional lumpability and proportional bisimilarity


In this paper, we deal with the lumpability approach to cope with the state space explosion problem inherent to the computation of the stationary performance indices of large stochastic models. The lumpability method is based on a state aggregation technique and applies to Markov chains exhibiting some structural regularity. Moreover, it allows one to efficiently compute the exact values of the stationary performance indices when the model is actually lumpable. The notion of quasi-lumpability is based on the idea that a Markov chain can be altered by relatively small perturbations of the transition rates in such a way that the new resulting Markov chain is lumpable. In this case, only upper and lower bounds on the performance indices can be derived. Here, we introduce a novel notion of quasi-lumpability, named proportional lumpability, which extends the original definition of lumpability but, differently from the general definition of quasi-lumpability, it allows one to derive exact stationary performance indices for the original process. We then introduce the notion of proportional bisimilarity for the terms of the performance process algebra PEPA. Proportional bisimilarity induces a proportional lumpability on the underlying continuous-time Markov chains. Finally, we prove some compositionality results and show the applicability of our theory through examples.