Volume 8, Issue 1

2012


1. Coupling policy iteration with semi-definite relaxation to compute accurate numerical invariants in static analysis

Adjé, Assalé ; Gaubert, Stéphane ; Goubault, Eric.
We introduce a new domain for finding precise numerical invariants of programs by abstract interpretation. This domain, which consists of level sets of non-linear functions, generalizes the domain of linear "templates" introduced by Manna, Sankaranarayanan, and Sipma. In the case of quadratic templates, we use Shor's semi-definite relaxation to derive computable yet precise abstractions of semantic functionals, and we show that the abstract fixpoint equation can be solved accurately by coupling policy iteration and semi-definite programming. We demonstrate the interest of our approach on a series of examples (filters, integration schemes) including a degenerate one (symplectic scheme).

2. Formal proofs in real algebraic geometry: from ordered fields to quantifier elimination

Mahboubi, Assia ; Cohen, Cyril.
This paper describes a formalization of discrete real closed fields in the Coq proof assistant. This abstract structure captures for instance the theory of real algebraic numbers, a decidable subset of real numbers with good algorithmic properties. The theory of real algebraic numbers and more generally of semi-algebraic varieties is at the core of a number of effective methods in real analysis, including decision procedures for non linear arithmetic or optimization methods for real valued functions. After defining an abstract structure of discrete real closed field and the elementary theory of real roots of polynomials, we describe the formalization of an algebraic proof of quantifier elimination based on pseudo-remainder sequences following the standard computer algebra literature on the topic. This formalization covers a large part of the theory which underlies the efficient algorithms implemented in practice in computer algebra. The success of this work paves the way for formal certification of these efficient methods.

3. On completeness of reducibility candidates as a semantics of strong normalization

Cousineau, Denis.
This paper defines a sound and complete semantic criterion, based on reducibility candidates, for strong normalization of theories expressed in minimal deduction modulo à la Curry. The use of Curry-style proof-terms allows to build this criterion on the classic notion of pre-Heyting algebras and makes that criterion concern all theories expressed in minimal deduction modulo. Compared to using Church-style proof-terms, this method provides both a simpler definition of the criterion and a simpler proof of its completeness.

4. A type reduction theory for systems with replicated components

Mazur, Tomasz ; Lowe, Gavin.
The Parameterised Model Checking Problem asks whether an implementation Impl(t) satisfies a specification Spec(t) for all instantiations of parameter t. In general, t can determine numerous entities: the number of processes used in a network, the type of data, the capacities of buffers, etc. The main theme of this paper is automation of uniform verification of a subclass of PMCP with the parameter of the first kind, i.e. the number of processes in the network. We use CSP as our formalism. We present a type reduction theory, which, for a given verification problem, establishes a function \phi that maps all (sufficiently large) instantiations T of the parameter to some fixed type T^ and allows us to deduce that if Spec(T^) is refined by \phi(Impl(T)), then (subject to certain assumptions) Spec(T) is refined by Impl(T). The theory can be used in practice by combining it with a suitable abstraction method that produces a t-independent process Abstr that is refined by {\phi}(Impl(T)) for all sufficiently large T. Then, by testing (with a model checker) if the abstract model Abstr refines Spec(T^), we can deduce a positive answer to the original uniform verification problem. The type reduction theory relies on symbolic representation of process behaviour. We develop a symbolic operational semantics for CSP processes that satisfy certain normality requirements, and we provide a set of translation rules that allow us to concretise symbolic transition graphs. Based on this, we prove […]

5. An extension of data automata that captures XPath

Bojańczyk, Mikołaj ; Lasota, Sławomir.
We define a new kind of automata recognizing properties of data words or data trees and prove that the automata capture all queries definable in Regular XPath. We show that the automata-theoretic approach may be applied to answer decidability and expressibility questions for XPath.

6. Ground interpolation for the theory of equality

Fuchs, Alexander ; Goel, Amit ; Grundy, Jim ; Krstić, Sava ; Tinelli, Cesare.
Theory interpolation has found several successful applications in model checking. We present a novel method for computing interpolants for ground formulas in the theory of equality. The method produces interpolants from colored congruence graphs representing derivations in that theory. These graphs can be produced by conventional congruence closure algorithms in a straightforward manner. By working with graphs, rather than at the level of individual proof steps, we are able to derive interpolants that are pleasingly simple (conjunctions of Horn clauses) and smaller than those generated by other tools. Our interpolation method can be seen as a theory-specific implementation of a cooperative interpolation game between two provers. We present a generic version of the interpolation game, parametrized by the theory T, and define a general method to extract runs of the game from proofs in T and then generate interpolants from these runs.

7. Absorbing Subalgebras, Cyclic Terms, and the Constraint Satisfaction Problem

Barto, Libor ; Kozik, Marcin.
The Algebraic Dichotomy Conjecture states that the Constraint Satisfaction Problem over a fixed template is solvable in polynomial time if the algebra of polymorphisms associated to the template lies in a Taylor variety, and is NP-complete otherwise. This paper provides two new characterizations of finitely generated Taylor varieties. The first characterization is using absorbing subalgebras and the second one cyclic terms. These new conditions allow us to reprove the conjecture of Bang-Jensen and Hell (proved by the authors) and the characterization of locally finite Taylor varieties using weak near-unanimity terms (proved by McKenzie and Maróti) in an elementary and self-contained way.

8. A dependent nominal type theory

Cheney, James.
Nominal abstract syntax is an approach to representing names and binding pioneered by Gabbay and Pitts. So far nominal techniques have mostly been studied using classical logic or model theory, not type theory. Nominal extensions to simple, dependent and ML-like polymorphic languages have been studied, but decidability and normalization results have only been established for simple nominal type theories. We present a LF-style dependent type theory extended with name-abstraction types, prove soundness and decidability of beta-eta-equivalence checking, discuss adequacy and canonical forms via an example, and discuss extensions such as dependently-typed recursion and induction principles.

9. Semantics and Algorithms for Parametric Monitoring

Rosu, Grigore ; Chen, Feng.
Analysis of execution traces plays a fundamental role in many program analysis approaches, such as runtime verification, testing, monitoring, and specification mining. Execution traces are frequently parametric, i.e., they contain events with parameter bindings. Each parametric trace usually consists of many meaningful trace slices merged together, each slice corresponding to one parameter binding. This gives a semantics-based solution to parametric trace analysis. A general-purpose parametric trace slicing technique is introduced, which takes each event in the parametric trace and dispatches it to its corresponding trace slices. This parametric trace slicing technique can be used in combination with any conventional, non-parametric trace analysis technique, by applying the later on each trace slice. As an instance, a parametric property monitoring technique is then presented. The presented parametric trace slicing and monitoring techniques have been implemented and extensively evaluated. Measurements of runtime overhead confirm that the generality of the discussed techniques does not come at a performance expense when compared with existing parametric trace monitoring systems.

10. Realizability algebras II : new models of ZF + DC

Krivine, Jean-Louis.
Using the proof-program (Curry-Howard) correspondence, we give a new method to obtain models of ZF and relative consistency results in set theory. We show the relative consistency of ZF + DC + there exists a sequence of subsets of R the cardinals of which are strictly decreasing + other similar properties of R. These results seem not to have been previously obtained by forcing.

11. A System F accounting for scalars

Arrighi, Pablo ; Diaz-Caro, Alejandro.
The Algebraic lambda-calculus and the Linear-Algebraic lambda-calculus extend the lambda-calculus with the possibility of making arbitrary linear combinations of terms. In this paper we provide a fine-grained, System F-like type system for the linear-algebraic lambda-calculus. We show that this "scalar" type system enjoys both the subject-reduction property and the strong-normalisation property, our main technical results. The latter yields a significant simplification of the linear-algebraic lambda-calculus itself, by removing the need for some restrictions in its reduction rules. But the more important, original feature of this scalar type system is that it keeps track of 'the amount of a type' that is present in each term. As an example of its use, we shown that it can serve as a guarantee that the normal form of a term is barycentric, i.e that its scalars are summing to one.

12. Type-elimination-based reasoning for the description logic SHIQbs using decision diagrams and disjunctive datalog

Rudolph, Sebastian ; Krötzsch, Markus ; Hitzler, Pascal.
We propose a novel, type-elimination-based method for reasoning in the description logic SHIQbs including DL-safe rules. To this end, we first establish a knowledge compilation method converting the terminological part of an ALCIb knowledge base into an ordered binary decision diagram (OBDD) which represents a canonical model. This OBDD can in turn be transformed into disjunctive Datalog and merged with the assertional part of the knowledge base in order to perform combined reasoning. In order to leverage our technique for full SHIQbs, we provide a stepwise reduction from SHIQbs to ALCIb that preserves satisfiability and entailment of positive and negative ground facts. The proposed technique is shown to be worst case optimal w.r.t. combined and data complexity and easily admits extensions with ground conjunctive queries.

13. Büchi Complementation and Size-Change Termination

Fogarty, Seth ; Vardi, Moshe Y..
We compare tools for complementing nondeterministic Büchi automata with a recent termination-analysis algorithm. Complementation of Büchi automata is a key step in program verification. Early constructions using a Ramsey-based argument have been supplanted by rank-based constructions with exponentially better bounds. In 2001 Lee et al. presented the size-change termination (SCT) problem, along with both a reduction to Büchi automata and a Ramsey-based algorithm. The Ramsey-based algorithm was presented as a more practical alternative to the automata-theoretic approach, but strongly resembles the initial complementation constructions for Büchi automata. We prove that the SCT algorithm is a specialized realization of the Ramsey-based complementation construction. To do so, we extend the Ramsey-based complementation construction to provide a containment-testing algorithm. Surprisingly, empirical analysis suggests that despite the massive gap in worst-case complexity, Ramsey-based approaches are superior over the domain of SCT problems. Upon further analysis we discover an interesting property of the problem space that both explains this result and provides a chance to improve rank-based tools. With these improvements, we show that theoretical gains in efficiency of the rank-based approach are mirrored in empirical performance.

14. QRB-Domains and the Probabilistic Powerdomain

Goubault-Larrecq, Jean.
Is there any Cartesian-closed category of continuous domains that would be closed under Jones and Plotkin's probabilistic powerdomain construction? This is a major open problem in the area of denotational semantics of probabilistic higher-order languages. We relax the question, and look for quasi-continuous dcpos instead. We introduce a natural class of such quasi-continuous dcpos, the omega-QRB-domains. We show that they form a category omega-QRB with pleasing properties: omega-QRB is closed under the probabilistic powerdomain functor, under finite products, under taking bilimits of expanding sequences, under retracts, and even under so-called quasi-retracts. But... omega-QRB is not Cartesian closed. We conclude by showing that the QRB domains are just one half of an FS-domain, merely lacking control.

15. Two-Variable Logic with Two Order Relations

Schwentick, Thomas ; Zeume, Thomas.
It is shown that the finite satisfiability problem for two-variable logic over structures with one total preorder relation, its induced successor relation, one linear order relation and some further unary relations is EXPSPACE-complete. Actually, EXPSPACE-completeness already holds for structures that do not include the induced successor relation. As a special case, the EXPSPACE upper bound applies to two-variable logic over structures with two linear orders. A further consequence is that satisfiability of two-variable logic over data words with a linear order on positions and a linear order and successor relation on the data is decidable in EXPSPACE. As a complementing result, it is shown that over structures with two total preorder relations as well as over structures with one total preorder and two linear order relations, the finite satisfiability problem for two-variable logic is undecidable.

16. Deciding Kleene Algebras in Coq

Braibant, Thomas ; Pous, Damien.
We present a reflexive tactic for deciding the equational theory of Kleene algebras in the Coq proof assistant. This tactic relies on a careful implementation of efficient finite automata algorithms, so that it solves casual equations instantaneously and properly scales to larger expressions. The decision procedure is proved correct and complete: correctness is established w.r.t. any model by formalising Kozen's initiality theorem; a counter-example is returned when the given equation does not hold. The correctness proof is challenging: it involves both a precise analysis of the underlying automata algorithms and a lot of algebraic reasoning. In particular, we have to formalise the theory of matrices over a Kleene algebra. We build on the recent addition of firstorder typeclasses in Coq in order to work efficiently with the involved algebraic structures.

17. Typing Copyless Message Passing

Bono, Viviana ; Padovani, Luca.
We present a calculus that models a form of process interaction based on copyless message passing, in the style of Singularity OS. The calculus is equipped with a type system ensuring that well-typed processes are free from memory faults, memory leaks, and communication errors. The type system is essentially linear, but we show that linearity alone is inadequate, because it leaves room for scenarios where well-typed processes leak significant amounts of memory. We address these problems basing the type system upon an original variant of session types.

18. A Bi-Directional Refinement Algorithm for the Calculus of (Co)Inductive Constructions

Asperti, Andrea ; Ricciotti, Wilmer ; Coen, Claudio Sacerdoti ; Tassi, Enrico.
The paper describes the refinement algorithm for the Calculus of (Co)Inductive Constructions (CIC) implemented in the interactive theorem prover Matita. The refinement algorithm is in charge of giving a meaning to the terms, types and proof terms directly written by the user or generated by using tactics, decision procedures or general automation. The terms are written in an "external syntax" meant to be user friendly that allows omission of information, untyped binders and a certain liberal use of user defined sub-typing. The refiner modifies the terms to obtain related well typed terms in the internal syntax understood by the kernel of the ITP. In particular, it acts as a type inference algorithm when all the binders are untyped. The proposed algorithm is bi-directional: given a term in external syntax and a type expected for the term, it propagates as much typing information as possible towards the leaves of the term. Traditional mono-directional algorithms, instead, proceed in a bottom-up way by inferring the type of a sub-term and comparing (unifying) it with the type expected by its context only at the end. We propose some novel bi-directional rules for CIC that are particularly effective. Among the benefits of bi-directionality we have better error message reporting and better inference of dependent types. Moreover, thanks to bi-directionality, the coercion system for sub-typing is more effective and type inference generates simpler unification problems […]

19. Derivation Lengths Classification of Gödel's T Extending Howard's Assignment

Wilken, Gunnar ; Weiermann, Andreas.
Let T be Goedel's system of primitive recursive functionals of finite type in the lambda formulation. We define by constructive means using recursion on nested multisets a multivalued function I from the set of terms of T into the set of natural numbers such that if a term a reduces to a term b and if a natural number I(a) is assigned to a then a natural number I(b) can be assigned to b such that I(a) is greater than I(b). The construction of I is based on Howard's 1970 ordinal assignment for T and Weiermann's 1996 treatment of T in the combinatory logic version. As a corollary we obtain an optimal derivation length classification for the lambda formulation of T and its fragments. Compared with Weiermann's 1996 exposition this article yields solutions to several non-trivial problems arising from dealing with lambda terms instead of combinatory logic terms. It is expected that the methods developed here can be applied to other higher order rewrite systems resulting in new powerful termination orderings since T is a paradigm for such systems.

20. Theorem proving for prenex Gödel logic with Delta: checking validity and unsatisfiability

Baaz, Matthias ; Ciabattoni, Agata ; Fermüller, Christian G.
Gödel logic with the projection operator Delta (G_Delta) is an important many-valued as well as intermediate logic. In contrast to classical logic, the validity and the satisfiability problems of G_Delta are not directly dual to each other. We nevertheless provide a uniform, computational treatment of both problems for prenex formulas by describing appropriate translations into sets of order clauses that can be subjected to chaining resolution. For validity a version of Herbrand's Theorem allows us to show the soundness of standard Skolemization. For satisfiability the translation involves a novel, extended Skolemization method.

21. Modeling Adversaries in a Logic for Security Protocol Analysis

Halpern, Joseph Y. ; Pucella, Riccardo.
Logics for security protocol analysis require the formalization of an adversary model that specifies the capabilities of adversaries. A common model is the Dolev-Yao model, which considers only adversaries that can compose and replay messages, and decipher them with known keys. The Dolev-Yao model is a useful abstraction, but it suffers from some drawbacks: it cannot handle the adversary knowing protocol-specific information, and it cannot handle probabilistic notions, such as the adversary attempting to guess the keys. We show how we can analyze security protocols under different adversary models by using a logic with a notion of algorithmic knowledge. Roughly speaking, adversaries are assumed to use algorithms to compute their knowledge; adversary capabilities are captured by suitable restrictions on the algorithms used. We show how we can model the standard Dolev-Yao adversary in this setting, and how we can capture more general capabilities including protocol-specific knowledge and guesses.

22. Alternating register automata on finite words and trees

Figueira, Diego.
We study alternating register automata on data words and data trees in relation to logics. A data word (resp. data tree) is a word (resp. tree) whose every position carries a label from a finite alphabet and a data value from an infinite domain. We investigate one-way automata with alternating control over data words or trees, with one register for storing data and comparing them for equality. This is a continuation of the study started by Demri, Lazic and Jurdzinski. From the standpoint of register automata models, this work aims at two objectives: (1) simplifying the existent decidability proofs for the emptiness problem for alternating register automata; and (2) exhibiting decidable extensions for these models. From the logical perspective, we show that (a) in the case of data words, satisfiability of LTL with one register and quantification over data values is decidable; and (b) the satisfiability problem for the so-called forward fragment of XPath on XML documents is decidable, even in the presence of DTDs and even of key constraints. The decidability is obtained through a reduction to the automata model introduced. This fragment contains the child, descendant, next-sibling and following-sibling axes, as well as data equality and inequality tests.

23. The rapid points of a complex oscillation

Potgieter, Paul.
By considering a counting-type argument on Brownian sample paths, we prove a result similar to that of Orey and Taylor on the exact Hausdorff dimension of the rapid points of Brownian motion. Because of the nature of the proof we can then apply the concepts to so-called complex oscillations (or 'algorithmically random Brownian motion'), showing that their rapid points have the same dimension.

24. On Global Types and Multi-Party Session

Castagna, Giuseppe ; Dezani-Ciancaglini, Mariangiola ; Padovani, Luca.
Global types are formal specifications that describe communication protocols in terms of their global interactions. We present a new, streamlined language of global types equipped with a trace-based semantics and whose features and restrictions are semantically justified. The multi-party sessions obtained projecting our global types enjoy a liveness property in addition to the traditional progress and are shown to be sound and complete with respect to the set of traces of the originating global type. Our notion of completeness is less demanding than the classical ones, allowing a multi-party session to leave out redundant traces from an underspecified global type. In addition to the technical content, we discuss some limitations of our language of global types and provide an extensive comparison with related specification languages adopted in different communities.

25. Formal Theories for Linear Algebra

Cook, Stephen A ; Fontes, Lila A.
We introduce two-sorted theories in the style of [CN10] for the complexity classes \oplusL and DET, whose complete problems include determinants over Z2 and Z, respectively. We then describe interpretations of Soltys' linear algebra theory LAp over arbitrary integral domains, into each of our new theories. The result shows equivalences of standard theorems of linear algebra over Z2 and Z can be proved in the corresponding theory, but leaves open the interesting question of whether the theorems themselves can be proved.

26. Static Analysis of Run-Time Errors in Embedded Real-Time Parallel C Programs

Miné, Antoine.
We present a static analysis by Abstract Interpretation to check for run-time errors in parallel and multi-threaded C programs. Following our work on Astrée, we focus on embedded critical programs without recursion nor dynamic memory allocation, but extend the analysis to a static set of threads communicating implicitly through a shared memory and explicitly using a finite set of mutual exclusion locks, and scheduled according to a real-time scheduling policy and fixed priorities. Our method is thread-modular. It is based on a slightly modified non-parallel analysis that, when analyzing a thread, applies and enriches an abstract set of thread interferences. An iterator then re-analyzes each thread in turn until interferences stabilize. We prove the soundness of our method with respect to the sequential consistency semantics, but also with respect to a reasonable weakly consistent memory semantics. We also show how to take into account mutual exclusion and thread priorities through a partitioning over an abstraction of the scheduler state. We present preliminary experimental results analyzing an industrial program with our prototype, Thésée, and demonstrate the scalability of our approach.

27. On the Parameterized Intractability of Monadic Second-Order Logic

Kreutzer, Stephan.
One of Courcelle's celebrated results states that if C is a class of graphs of bounded tree-width, then model-checking for monadic second order logic (MSO_2) is fixed-parameter tractable (fpt) on C by linear time parameterized algorithms, where the parameter is the tree-width plus the size of the formula. An immediate question is whether this is best possible or whether the result can be extended to classes of unbounded tree-width. In this paper we show that in terms of tree-width, the theorem cannot be extended much further. More specifically, we show that if C is a class of graphs which is closed under colourings and satisfies certain constructibility conditions and is such that the tree-width of C is not bounded by \log^{84} n then MSO_2-model checking is not fpt unless SAT can be solved in sub-exponential time. If the tree-width of C is not poly-logarithmically bounded, then MSO_2-model checking is not fpt unless all problems in the polynomial-time hierarchy can be solved in sub-exponential time.

28. Preservation of Strong Normalisation modulo permutations for the structural lambda-calculus

Accattoli, Beniamino ; Kesner, Delia.
Inspired by a recent graphical formalism for lambda-calculus based on linear logic technology, we introduce an untyped structural lambda-calculus, called lambda j, which combines actions at a distance with exponential rules decomposing the substitution by means of weakening, contraction and derelicition. First, we prove some fundamental properties of lambda j such as confluence and preservation of beta-strong normalisation. Second, we add a strong bisimulation to lambda j by means of an equational theory which captures in particular Regnier's sigma-equivalence. We then complete this bisimulation with two more equations for (de)composition of substitutions and we prove that the resulting calculus still preserves beta-strong normalization. Finally, we discuss some consequences of our results.

29. On Irrelevance and Algorithmic Equality in Predicative Type Theory

Abel, Andreas ; Scherer, Gabriel.
Dependently typed programs contain an excessive amount of static terms which are necessary to please the type checker but irrelevant for computation. To separate static and dynamic code, several static analyses and type systems have been put forward. We consider Pfenning's type theory with irrelevant quantification which is compatible with a type-based notion of equality that respects eta-laws. We extend Pfenning's theory to universes and large eliminations and develop its meta-theory. Subject reduction, normalization and consistency are obtained by a Kripke model over the typed equality judgement. Finally, a type-directed equality algorithm is described whose completeness is proven by a second Kripke model.

30. A Synthesis of the Procedural and Declarative Styles of Interactive Theorem Proving

Wiedijk, Freek.
We propose a synthesis of the two proof styles of interactive theorem proving: the procedural style (where proofs are scripts of commands, like in Coq) and the declarative style (where proofs are texts in a controlled natural language, like in Isabelle/Isar). Our approach combines the advantages of the declarative style - the possibility to write formal proofs like normal mathematical text - and the procedural style - strong automation and help with shaping the proofs, including determining the statements of intermediate steps. Our approach is new, and differs significantly from the ways in which the procedural and declarative proof styles have been combined before in the Isabelle, Ssreflect and Matita systems. Our approach is generic and can be implemented on top of any procedural interactive theorem prover, regardless of its architecture and logical foundations. To show the viability of our proposed approach, we fully implemented it as a proof interface called miz3, on top of the HOL Light interactive theorem prover. The declarative language that this interface uses is a slight variant of the language of the Mizar system, and can be used for any interactive theorem prover regardless of its logical foundations. The miz3 interface allows easy access to the full set of tactics and formal libraries of HOL Light, and as such has "industrial strength". Our approach gives a way to automatically convert any procedural proof to a declarative counterpart, where the […]

31. A Reduction-Preserving Completion for Proving Confluence of Non-Terminating Term Rewriting Systems

Aoto, Takahito ; Toyama, Yoshihito.
We give a method to prove confluence of term rewriting systems that contain non-terminating rewrite rules such as commutativity and associativity. Usually, confluence of term rewriting systems containing such rules is proved by treating them as equational term rewriting systems and considering E-critical pairs and/or termination modulo E. In contrast, our method is based solely on usual critical pairs and it also (partially) works even if the system is not terminating modulo E. We first present confluence criteria for term rewriting systems whose rewrite rules can be partitioned into a terminating part and a possibly non-terminating part. We then give a reduction-preserving completion procedure so that the applicability of the criteria is enhanced. In contrast to the well-known Knuth-Bendix completion procedure which preserves the equivalence relation of the system, our completion procedure preserves the reduction relation of the system, by which confluence of the original system is inferred from that of the completed system.

32. Tree-width for first order formulae

Adler, Isolde ; Weyer, Mark.
We introduce tree-width for first order formulae \phi, fotw(\phi). We show that computing fotw is fixed-parameter tractable with parameter fotw. Moreover, we show that on classes of formulae of bounded fotw, model checking is fixed parameter tractable, with parameter the length of the formula. This is done by translating a formula \phi\ with fotw(\phi)<k into a formula of the k-variable fragment L^k of first order logic. For fixed k, the question whether a given first order formula is equivalent to an L^k formula is undecidable. In contrast, the classes of first order formulae with bounded fotw are fragments of first order logic for which the equivalence is decidable. Our notion of tree-width generalises tree-width of conjunctive queries to arbitrary formulae of first order logic by taking into account the quantifier interaction in a formula. Moreover, it is more powerful than the notion of elimination-width of quantified constraint formulae, defined by Chen and Dalmau (CSL 2005): for quantified constraint formulae, both bounded elimination-width and bounded fotw allow for model checking in polynomial time. We prove that fotw of a quantified constraint formula \phi\ is bounded by the elimination-width of \phi, and we exhibit a class of quantified constraint formulae with bounded fotw, that has unbounded elimination-width. A similar comparison holds for strict tree-width of non-recursive stratified datalog as defined by Flum, Frick, and Grohe (JACM 49, 2002). Finally, […]