Probabilistic Programming

Seminar in Theoretical CS, Summer Semester 2016


  • 19.01.2016: we are online
  • 23.02.2016: the course kick-off meeting will take place on April 13th at 14:30 in room 9U10 (E3).
  • 08.03.2016: the course topics are already available
  • 14.04.2016: topic-student assignment is already available


13th April Kick-off meeting
23th May Seminar report due
19th June Presentation slides due
29-30th June Seminar talks



This seminar covers a variety of topics in the field of probabilistic programs. Roughly speaking, probabilistic programs are like ordinary programs, with an extra feature: the ability to make some sort of probabilistic choice. Here we show how one can exploit this feature to model, for instance, a duel between two cowboys. These kind of programs are of great importance due to their wide applicability scope, which includes, amongst others, security, quantum computing, randomized algorithms and machine learning.

In this seminar we discuss the foundations of probabilistic programs, namely the underlying semantical models, as well as topics concerning the automated analysis of such programs.


Basic knowledge in the following areas is expected:

  • Semantics of programs
  • Probability theory
  • Automata theory
  • Mathematical logic
  • Previous knowledge in modelling probabilistic systems is helpful but not mandatory


Master Students

  1. Static Analysis I
  2. Static Analysis II
  3. Relational Program Reasoning
  4. Deductive Verification
  5. Runtime Analysis
  6. Game-Based Abstraction Refinement
  7. Probabilistic CTL
  8. Analysis of Probabilistic Pushdown Automata
  9. Kleene Algebra with Tests

Bachelor Students

  1. Symmetry Reduction
  2. Probabilistic Assertions
  3. Bringing Probabilistic Programming to MS Excel
  4. Proving Almost-Sure Termination

Schedule for Seminar Talks

The seminar talks will take place on June 30th, in the chair’s seminar room (E1, room 4201b). Detailed schedule is given below.

10:15 Justin Winkens Analysis of Probabilistic Pushdown Automata
11:00 Georg Clegg
13:00 Kurowski Sascha Abstraction Refinement for Probabilistic Software
13:45 Lea Hiendl  PCTL* – The Deductive Way
14:30 Tobias Standop Probabilistic Programming as Spreadsheet Queries


Additional Material


Registration to the seminar is handled between January 14 and 27, 2016, via the central online form.


Federico Olmedo <federico.olmedo at>