Descriptive Complexity of #AC^0 Functions

Authors Arnaud Durand, Anselm Haak, Juha Kontinen, Heribert Vollmer

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Arnaud Durand
Anselm Haak
Juha Kontinen
Heribert Vollmer

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Arnaud Durand, Anselm Haak, Juha Kontinen, and Heribert Vollmer. Descriptive Complexity of #AC^0 Functions. In 25th EACSL Annual Conference on Computer Science Logic (CSL 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 62, pp. 20:1-20:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)


We introduce a new framework for a descriptive complexity approach to arithmetic computations. We define a hierarchy of classes based on the idea of counting assignments to free function variables in first-order formulae. We completely determine the inclusion structure and show that #P and #AC^0 appear as classes of this hierarchy. In this way, we unconditionally place #AC^0 properly in a strict hierarchy of arithmetic classes within #P. We compare our classes with a hierarchy within #P defined in a model-theoretic way by Saluja et al. We argue that our approach is better suited to study arithmetic circuit classes such as #AC^0 which can be descriptively characterized as a class in our framework.
  • finite model theory
  • Fagin's theorem
  • arithmetic circuits
  • counting classes
  • Skolem function


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