Benedikt Bollig - On the Expressive Power of 2-Stack Visibly Pushdown Automata

lmcs:1101 - Logical Methods in Computer Science, December 24, 2008, Volume 4, Issue 4 -
On the Expressive Power of 2-Stack Visibly Pushdown Automata

Authors: Benedikt Bollig

Visibly pushdown automata are input-driven pushdown automata that recognize some non-regular context-free languages while preserving the nice closure and decidability properties of finite automata. Visibly pushdown automata with multiple stacks have been considered recently by La Torre, Madhusudan, and Parlato, who exploit the concept of visibility further to obtain a rich automata class that can even express properties beyond the class of context-free languages. At the same time, their automata are closed under boolean operations, have a decidable emptiness and inclusion problem, and enjoy a logical characterization in terms of a monadic second-order logic over words with an additional nesting structure. These results require a restricted version of visibly pushdown automata with multiple stacks whose behavior can be split up into a fixed number of phases. In this paper, we consider 2-stack visibly pushdown automata (i.e., visibly pushdown automata with two stacks) in their unrestricted form. We show that they are expressively equivalent to the existential fragment of monadic second-order logic. Furthermore, it turns out that monadic second-order quantifier alternation forms an infinite hierarchy wrt words with multiple nestings. Combining these results, we conclude that 2-stack visibly pushdown automata are not closed under complementation. Finally, we discuss the expressive power of B├╝chi 2-stack visibly pushdown automata running on infinite (nested) words. Extending the logic by an infinity quantifier, we can likewise establish equivalence to existential monadic second-order logic.

Volume: Volume 4, Issue 4
Published on: December 24, 2008
Accepted on: June 25, 2015
Submitted on: September 3, 2007
Keywords: Computer Science - Logic in Computer Science,F.4.3


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