Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 306, 49th International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (MFCS 2024)

The number of quantifiers needed to express first-order (FO) properties is captured by two-player combinatorial games called multi-structural games. We analyze these games on binary strings with an ordering relation, using a technique we call parallel play, which significantly reduces the number of quantifiers needed in many cases. Ordered structures such as strings have historically been notoriously difficult to analyze in the context of these and similar games. Nevertheless, in this paper, we provide essentially tight bounds on the number of quantifiers needed to characterize different-sized subsets of strings. The results immediately give bounds on the number of quantifiers necessary to define several different classes of Boolean functions. One of our results is analogous to Lupanov’s upper bounds on circuit size and formula size in propositional logic: we show that every Boolean function on n-bit inputs can be defined by a FO sentence having (1+ε)n/log(n) + O(1) quantifiers, and that this is essentially tight. We reduce this number to (1 + ε)log(n) + O(1) when the Boolean function in question is sparse.

Marco Carmosino, Ronald Fagin, Neil Immerman, Phokion G. Kolaitis, Jonathan Lenchner, and Rik Sengupta. On the Number of Quantifiers Needed to Define Boolean Functions. In 49th International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (MFCS 2024). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 306, pp. 34:1-34:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2024)

Copy BibTex To Clipboard

@InProceedings{carmosino_et_al:LIPIcs.MFCS.2024.34, author = {Carmosino, Marco and Fagin, Ronald and Immerman, Neil and Kolaitis, Phokion G. and Lenchner, Jonathan and Sengupta, Rik}, title = {{On the Number of Quantifiers Needed to Define Boolean Functions}}, booktitle = {49th International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (MFCS 2024)}, pages = {34:1--34:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-335-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2024}, volume = {306}, editor = {Kr\'{a}lovi\v{c}, Rastislav and Ku\v{c}era, Anton{\'\i}n}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.MFCS.2024.34}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-205907}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.MFCS.2024.34}, annote = {Keywords: logic, combinatorial games, Boolean functions, quantifier number} }

Document

**Published in:** Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 6451, Circuits, Logic, and Games (2007)

It is well-known that every first-order property on words is
expressible using at most three variables. The subclass of properties
expressible with only two variables is also quite interesting and
well-studied. We prove precise structure
theorems that characterize the exact expressive power of first-order
logic with two variables on words. Our results apply to
FO$^2[<]$ and FO$^2[<,suc]$, the latter of which includes the
binary successor relation in addition to the linear ordering on
string positions.
For both languages, our structure theorems show exactly what is
expressible using a given quantifier depth, $n$, and using $m$ blocks
of alternating quantifiers, for any $mleq n$. Using these
characterizations, we prove, among other results, that there is a
strict hierarchy of alternating quantifiers for both languages. The
question whether there was such a hierarchy had been completely open
since it was asked in [Etessami, Vardi, and Wilke 1997].

Philipp Weis and Neil Immerman. Structure Theorem and Strict Alternation Hierarchy for FOÃ‚Â² on Words. In Circuits, Logic, and Games. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 6451, pp. 1-22, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2007)

Copy BibTex To Clipboard

@InProceedings{weis_et_al:DagSemProc.06451.6, author = {Weis, Philipp and Immerman, Neil}, title = {{Structure Theorem and Strict Alternation Hierarchy for FO\~{A}‚\^{A}² on Words}}, booktitle = {Circuits, Logic, and Games}, pages = {1--22}, series = {Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings (DagSemProc)}, ISSN = {1862-4405}, year = {2007}, volume = {6451}, editor = {Thomas Schwentick and Denis Th\'{e}rien and Heribert Vollmer}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/DagSemProc.06451.6}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-9751}, doi = {10.4230/DagSemProc.06451.6}, annote = {Keywords: Descriptive complexity, finite model theory, alternation hierarchy, Ehrenfeucht-Fraisse games} }

X

Feedback for Dagstuhl Publishing

Feedback submitted

Please try again later or send an E-mail