Formal Aspects of Computing

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 1057–1078 | Cite as

Generalised rely-guarantee concurrency: an algebraic foundation

  • Ian J. HayesEmail author
Original Article


The rely-guarantee technique allows one to reason compositionally about concurrent programs. To handle interference the technique makes use of rely and guarantee conditions, both of which are binary relations on states. A rely condition is an assumption that the environment performs only atomic steps satisfying the rely relation and a guarantee is a commitment that every atomic step the program makes satisfies the guarantee relation. In order to investigate rely-guarantee reasoning more generally, in this paper we allow interference to be represented by a process rather than a relation and hence derive more general rely-guarantee laws. The paper makes use of a weak conjunction operator between processes, which generalises a guarantee relation to a guarantee process, and introduces a rely quotient operator, which generalises a rely relation to a process. The paper focuses on the algebraic properties of the general rely-guarantee theory. The Jones-style rely-guarantee theory can be interpreted as a model of the general algebraic theory and hence the general laws presented here hold for that theory.


Concurrent programming rely-guarantee concurrency program verification program algebra concurrent Kleene algebra 


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Copyright information

© British Computer Society 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information Technology and Electrical EngineeringThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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