2007

We present a new approach for performing predicate abstraction based on symbolic decision procedures. Intuitively, a symbolic decision procedure for a theory takes a set of predicates in the theory and symbolically executes a decision procedure on all the subsets over the set of predicates. The result of the symbolic decision procedure is a shared expression (represented by a directed acyclic graph) that implicitly represents the answer to a predicate abstraction query. We present symbolic decision procedures for the logic of Equality and Uninterpreted Functions (EUF) and Difference logic (DIFF) and show that these procedures run in pseudo-polynomial (rather than exponential) time. We then provide a method to construct symbolic decision procedures for simple mixed theories (including the two theories mentioned above) using an extension of the Nelson-Oppen combination method. We present preliminary evaluation of our Procedure on predicate abstraction benchmarks from device driver verification in SLAM.

We study the existence of automatic presentations for various algebraic structures. An automatic presentation of a structure is a description of the universe of the structure by a regular set of words, and the interpretation of the relations by synchronised automata. Our first topic concerns characterising classes of automatic structures. We supply a characterisation of the automatic Boolean algebras, and it is proven that the free Abelian group of infinite rank, as well as certain Fraisse limits, do not have automatic presentations. In particular, the countably infinite random graph and the random partial order do not have automatic presentations. Furthermore, no infinite integral domain is automatic. Our second topic is the isomorphism problem. We prove that the complexity of the isomorphism problem for the class of all automatic structures is \Sigma_1^1-complete.

String languages recognizable in (deterministic) log-space are characterized either by two-way (deterministic) multi-head automata, or following Immerman, by first-order logic with (deterministic) transitive closure. Here we elaborate this result, and match the number of heads to the arity of the transitive closure. More precisely, first-order logic with k-ary deterministic transitive closure has the same power as deterministic automata walking on their input with k heads, additionally using a finite set of nested pebbles. This result is valid for strings, ordered trees, and in general for families of graphs having a fixed automaton that can be used to traverse the nodes of each of the graphs in the family. Other examples of such families are grids, toruses, and rectangular mazes. For nondeterministic automata, the logic is restricted to positive occurrences of transitive closure. The special case of k=1 for trees, shows that single-head deterministic tree-walking automata with nested pebbles are characterized by first-order logic with unary deterministic transitive closure. This refines our earlier result that placed these automata between first-order and monadic second-order logic on trees.

We consider a new kind of interpretation over relational structures: finite sets interpretations. Those interpretations are defined by weak monadic second-order (WMSO) formulas with free set variables. They transform a given structure into a structure with a domain consisting of finite sets of elements of the orignal structure. The definition of these interpretations directly implies that they send structures with a decidable WMSO theory to structures with a decidable first-order theory. In this paper, we investigate the expressive power of such interpretations applied to infinite deterministic trees. The results can be used in the study of automatic and tree-automatic structures.

We give a simple order-theoretic construction of a Cartesian closed category of sequential functions. It is based on bistable biorders, which are sets with a partial order -- the extensional order -- and a bistable coherence, which captures equivalence of program behaviour, up to permutation of top (error) and bottom (divergence). We show that monotone and bistable functions (which are required to preserve bistably bounded meets and joins) are strongly sequential, and use this fact to prove universality results for the bistable biorder semantics of the simply-typed lambda-calculus (with atomic constants), and an extension with arithmetic and recursion. We also construct a bistable model of SPCF, a higher-order functional programming language with non-local control. We use our universality result for the lambda-calculus to show that the semantics of SPCF is fully abstract. We then establish a direct correspondence between bistable functions and sequential algorithms by showing that sequential data structures give rise to bistable biorders, and that each bistable function between such biorders is computed by a sequential algorithm.

Constraint languages that arise from finite algebras have recently been the object of study, especially in connection with the Dichotomy Conjecture of Feder and Vardi. An important class of algebras are those that generate congruence distributive varieties and included among this class are lattices, and more generally, those algebras that have near-unanimity term operations. An algebra will generate a congruence distributive variety if and only if it has a sequence of ternary term operations, called Jonsson terms, that satisfy certain equations. We prove that constraint languages consisting of relations that are invariant under a short sequence of Jonsson terms are tractable by showing that such languages have bounded relational width.

Higher-Order Fixpoint Logic (HFL) is a hybrid of the simply typed \lambda-calculus and the modal \lambda-calculus. This makes it a highly expressive temporal logic that is capable of expressing various interesting correctness properties of programs that are not expressible in the modal \lambda-calculus. This paper provides complexity results for its model checking problem. In particular we consider those fragments of HFL built by using only types of bounded order k and arity m. We establish k-fold exponential time completeness for model checking each such fragment. For the upper bound we use fixpoint elimination to obtain reachability games that are singly-exponential in the size of the formula and k-fold exponential in the size of the underlying transition system. These games can be solved in deterministic linear time. As a simple consequence, we obtain an exponential time upper bound on the expression complexity of each such fragment. The lower bound is established by a reduction from the word problem for alternating (k-1)-fold exponential space bounded Turing Machines. Since there are fixed machines of that type whose word problems are already hard with respect to k-fold exponential time, we obtain, as a corollary, k-fold exponential time completeness for the data complexity of our fragments of HFL, provided m exceeds 3. This also yields a hierarchy result in expressive power.