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The Logical Strength of Büchi's Decidability Theorem

Authors Leszek Aleksander Kolodziejczyk, Henryk Michalewski, Pierre Pradic, Michal Skrzypczak

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Leszek Aleksander Kolodziejczyk
Henryk Michalewski
Pierre Pradic
Michal Skrzypczak

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Leszek Aleksander Kolodziejczyk, Henryk Michalewski, Pierre Pradic, and Michal Skrzypczak. The Logical Strength of Büchi's Decidability Theorem. In 25th EACSL Annual Conference on Computer Science Logic (CSL 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 62, pp. 36:1-36:16, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)


We study the strength of axioms needed to prove various results related to automata on infinite words and Büchi's theorem on the decidability of the MSO theory of (N, less_or_equal). We prove that the following are equivalent over the weak second-order arithmetic theory RCA: 1. Büchi's complementation theorem for nondeterministic automata on infinite words, 2. the decidability of the depth-n fragment of the MSO theory of (N, less_or_equal), for each n greater than 5, 3. the induction scheme for Sigma^0_2 formulae of arithmetic. Moreover, each of (1)-(3) is equivalent to the additive version of Ramsey's Theorem for pairs, often used in proofs of (1); each of (1)-(3) implies McNaughton's determinisation theorem for automata on infinite words; and each of (1)-(3) implies the "bounded-width" version of König's Lemma, often used in proofs of McNaughton's theorem.
  • nondeterministic automata
  • monadic second-order logic
  • Büchi's theorem
  • additive Ramsey's theorem
  • reverse mathematics


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