In previous work we have investigated a notion of approximate bisimilarity for labelled Markov processes. We argued that such a notion is more realistic and more feasible to compute than (exact) bisimilarity. The main technical tool used in the underlying theory was the Hutchinson metric on probability measures. This paper gives a more fundamental characterization of approximate bisimilarity in terms of the notion of (exact) similarity. In particular, we show that the topology of approximate bisimilarity is the Lawson topology with respect to the simulation preorder. To complement this abstract characterization we give a statistical account of similarity, and by extension, of approximate bisimilarity, in terms of the process testing formalism of Larsen and Skou.
Proceedings of FOSSACS 03, LNCS 2620, 2003. 15 pages.