Let us attempt a somewhat primitive reinterpretation of a quantum state as a set of processes.
You can see a process as a function that gives some output from a given input. It’s somewhat like an unitary operator. A given particle state evolves to another as a combined result of a set of many processing, “internally active elements”. Imagine a qubit. A set of quantum states encompassing any possible state between |0> and |1> is here what I call a set of “fundamental processes”.
Internally, a lot of activity is happening to the qubit. The processes are not simply independent agents, but active elements which share finite mutual “resources”. I’m not sure at the present stage what to make of these “shared resources” in such a reinterpreted quantum theory (in LQG, they could be seen as the edges of a spin network: nodes *share* common edges representing spin, so the evolution of spin network states could be seen as a result of how these processes act and share resources, and in the present case is to maintain gauge invariance). In other words, the processes do not act completely independently, but are concurrent in the sense that they need to access some shared resources in order to evolve.
I’m not sure what to do with when you observe the system in such a framework.
Imagine now a n-dimensional space in which every orthogonal axis represents a process. Every point along an axis is a representation of a given quantum state (input) evolving to another (output). For instance, in one axis you could set up the following “scheduling”:
|0> -> |1/sqrt(2)> -> |1> -> |0> -> …
in another axis, this one:
|1/sqrt(2)> -> |1> -> |0> -> |1/sqrt(2)> -> |1> -> …
and so on, so you see there is a quite a large number of possible schedules for the qubit. But, say, two processes could not be at the same “time” sharing the same resources: this translates to some constraint that represents the forbidden usage of (or action upon) the same common resource by different processes which are competing at the same “time” (here, “time” is also to be interpreted in some partially ordered sense).
All possible scheduling (histories) of each of the processes form, combined, a directed topological manifold that encodes *all* the possible histories of a given particle. “Directed” in the sense that there is a local partial order structure imposed on the manifold as the quantum states evolve (a direction of “time”). A point in this manifold represents a superposition of processes (state functions). But since the processes that evolve quantum states must share common resources, there are forbidden regions on the manifold because the processes cannot access the same resource at the same “time”. So there are natural constraints that must be obeyed, and these constraints determine a topological, typical signature of the quantum system in question.
These constraints (that actually forbid the system to go into some kind of “deadlock”) could be seen as correlations/anti-correlations between quantum states, thus providing an interpretation of why energy levels of a harmonic oscillator are quantized, for instance.
There is an emergent field joining topology and concurrency theory — “di”topology — that study these various ditopological manifolds, which carry this extra structure (“di”rection).
It turns out that the idea seems to be easier to grasp when you include gravity. The reason comes from the fact that the scheduling of concurrent processes can be described, as I said, in topological terms by a manifold with a local partial order, a ditopological manifold. And pictorially, spin networks (or spin foams, for what is worth) seem adequate to fit this idea in a more immediate sense because of causality issues.
But that is another story.