Selected Papers of the International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming 2009


Editor: Wolfgang Thomas

This volume of Logical Methods in Computer Science offers selected papers of Track B (``Logic, Semantics, and Programming'') of the 36th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP), held on the island of Rhodes in July 2009. The eight papers that are now published span a wide spectrum of fields:

  • Manuel Bodirsky, Peter Jonsson and Timo von Oertzen: Essential Convexity and Complexity of Semi-Algebraic Constraints
  • Thomas Colcombet: Regular Cost Functions, Part I: Logic and Algebra over Words
  • Alain Finkel and Jean Goubault-Larrecq: Forward Analysis for WSTS, Part II: Complete WSTS
  • Noaki Kobayashi and C. -H. Luke Ong: Complexity of Model Checking Recursion Schemes for Fragments of the Modal Mu-Calculus
  • Lars Kuhtz and Bernd Finkbeiner: Efficient Parallel Path Checking for Linear-Time Temporal Logic With Past and Bounds
  • Ugo Dal Lago and Simone Martini: On Constructor Rewrite Systems and the Lambda Calculus
  • Pawel Parys and Igor Walukiewicz: Weak Alternating Timed Automata
  • Thomas Place and Luc Segoufin: A Decidable Characterization of Locally Testable Tree Languages

The authors invested a lot of effort in revising and extending the short communications that were published in the conference proceedings (Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 5556). Much work was then spent by the reviewers who contributed considerably to the quality of the papers, in some cases over two rounds of revision. All this took considerable time. I have to thank both, the authors and the reviewers, for their magnificent work which finally led to a volume with papers of the highest standard.

Wolfgang Thomas
PC Chair of ICALP 2009, Track B

1. The Complexity of Nash Equilibria in Stochastic Multiplayer Games

Michael Ummels ; Dominik Wojtczak.
We analyse the computational complexity of finding Nash equilibria in turn-based stochastic multiplayer games with omega-regular objectives. We show that restricting the search space to equilibria whose payoffs fall into a certain interval may lead to undecidability. In particular, we prove that the following problem is undecidable: Given a game G, does there exist a Nash equilibrium of G where Player 0 wins with probability 1? Moreover, this problem remains undecidable when restricted to pure strategies or (pure) strategies with finite memory. One way to obtain a decidable variant of the problem is to restrict the strategies to be positional or stationary. For the complexity of these two problems, we obtain a common lower bound of NP and upper bounds of NP and PSPACE respectively. Finally, we single out a special case of the general problem that, in many cases, admits an efficient solution. In particular, we prove that deciding the existence of an equilibrium in which each player either wins or loses with probability 1 can be done in polynomial time for games where the objective of each player is given by a parity condition with a bounded number of priorities.

2. A decidable characterization of locally testable tree languages

Thomas Place ; Luc Segoufin.
A regular tree language L is locally testable if membership of a tree in L depends only on the presence or absence of some fix set of neighborhoods in the tree. In this paper we show that it is decidable whether a regular tree language is locally testable. The decidability is shown for ranked trees and for unranked unordered trees.

3. Complexity of Model Checking Recursion Schemes for Fragments of the Modal Mu-Calculus

Naoki Kobayashi ; C. -H. Luke Ong.
Ong has shown that the modal mu-calculus model checking problem (equivalently, the alternating parity tree automaton (APT) acceptance problem) of possibly-infinite ranked trees generated by order-n recursion schemes is n-EXPTIME complete. We consider two subclasses of APT and investigate the complexity of the respective acceptance problems. The main results are that, for APT with a single priority, the problem is still n-EXPTIME complete; whereas, for APT with a disjunctive transition function, the problem is (n-1)-EXPTIME complete. This study was motivated by Kobayashi's recent work showing that the resource usage verification of functional programs can be reduced to the model checking of recursion schemes. As an application, we show that the resource usage verification problem is (n-1)-EXPTIME complete.

4. On Constructor Rewrite Systems and the Lambda Calculus

Ugo Dal Lago ; Simone Martini.
We prove that orthogonal constructor term rewrite systems and lambda-calculus with weak (i.e., no reduction is allowed under the scope of a lambda-abstraction) call-by-value reduction can simulate each other with a linear overhead. In particular, weak call-by- value beta-reduction can be simulated by an orthogonal constructor term rewrite system in the same number of reduction steps. Conversely, each reduction in a term rewrite system can be simulated by a constant number of beta-reduction steps. This is relevant to implicit computational complexity, because the number of beta steps to normal form is polynomially related to the actual cost (that is, as performed on a Turing machine) of normalization, under weak call-by-value reduction. Orthogonal constructor term rewrite systems and lambda-calculus are thus both polynomially related to Turing machines, taking as notion of cost their natural parameters.

5. Weak Alternating Timed Automata

Pawel Parys ; Igor Walukiewicz.
Alternating timed automata on infinite words are considered. The main result is a characterization of acceptance conditions for which the emptiness problem for these automata is decidable. This result implies new decidability results for fragments of timed temporal logics. It is also shown that, unlike for MITL, the characterisation remains the same even if no punctual constraints are allowed.

6. Forward Analysis for WSTS, Part II: Complete WSTS

Alain Finkel ; Jean Goubault-Larrecq.
We describe a simple, conceptual forward analysis procedure for infinity-complete WSTS S. This computes the so-called clover of a state. When S is the completion of a WSTS X, the clover in S is a finite description of the downward closure of the reachability set. We show that such completions are infinity-complete exactly when X is an omega-2-WSTS, a new robust class of WSTS. We show that our procedure terminates in more cases than the generalized Karp-Miller procedure on extensions of Petri nets and on lossy channel systems. We characterize the WSTS where our procedure terminates as those that are clover-flattable. Finally, we apply this to well-structured counter systems.

7. Essential Convexity and Complexity of Semi-Algebraic Constraints

Manuel Bodirsky ; Peter Jonsson ; Timo von Oertzen.
Let \Gamma be a structure with a finite relational signature and a first-order definition in (R;*,+) with parameters from R, that is, a relational structure over the real numbers where all relations are semi-algebraic sets. In this article, we study the computational complexity of constraint satisfaction problem (CSP) for \Gamma: the problem to decide whether a given primitive positive sentence is true in \Gamma. We focus on those structures \Gamma that contain the relations \leq, {(x,y,z) | x+y=z} and {1}. Hence, all CSPs studied in this article are at least as expressive as the feasibility problem for linear programs. The central concept in our investigation is essential convexity: a relation S is essentially convex if for all a,b\inS, there are only finitely many points on the line segment between a and b that are not in S. If \Gamma contains a relation S that is not essentially convex and this is witnessed by rational points a,b, then we show that the CSP for \Gamma is NP-hard. Furthermore, we characterize essentially convex relations in logical terms. This different view may open up new ways for identifying tractable classes of semi-algebraic CSPs. For instance, we show that if \Gamma is a first-order expansion of (R;*,+), then the CSP for \Gamma can be solved in polynomial time if and only if all relations in \Gamma are essentially convex (unless P=NP).

8. Efficient Parallel Path Checking for Linear-Time Temporal Logic With Past and Bounds

Lars Kuhtz ; Bernd Finkbeiner.
Path checking, the special case of the model checking problem where the model under consideration is a single path, plays an important role in monitoring, testing, and verification. We prove that for linear-time temporal logic (LTL), path checking can be efficiently parallelized. In addition to the core logic, we consider the extensions of LTL with bounded-future (BLTL) and past-time (LTL+Past) operators. Even though both extensions improve the succinctness of the logic exponentially, path checking remains efficiently parallelizable: Our algorithm for LTL, LTL+Past, and BLTL+Past is in AC^1(logDCFL) \subseteq NC.

9. Regular Cost Functions, Part I: Logic and Algebra over Words

Thomas Colcombet.
The theory of regular cost functions is a quantitative extension to the classical notion of regularity. A cost function associates to each input a non-negative integer value (or infinity), as opposed to languages which only associate to each input the two values "inside" and "outside". This theory is a continuation of the works on distance automata and similar models. These models of automata have been successfully used for solving the star-height problem, the finite power property, the finite substitution problem, the relative inclusion star-height problem and the boundedness problem for monadic-second order logic over words. Our notion of regularity can be -- as in the classical theory of regular languages -- equivalently defined in terms of automata, expressions, algebraic recognisability, and by a variant of the monadic second-order logic. These equivalences are strict extensions of the corresponding classical results. The present paper introduces the cost monadic logic, the quantitative extension to the notion of monadic second-order logic we use, and show that some problems of existence of bounds are decidable for this logic. This is achieved by introducing the corresponding algebraic formalism: stabilisation monoids.