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Decidable Fragments of First-Order Logic and of First-Order Linear Arithmetic with Uninterpreted Predicates


Voigt,  Marco
Automation of Logic, MPI for Informatics, Max Planck Society;
International Max Planck Research School, MPI for Informatics, Max Planck Society;

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Voigt, M. (2019). Decidable Fragments of First-Order Logic and of First-Order Linear Arithmetic with Uninterpreted Predicates. PhD Thesis, Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken. doi:10.22028/D291-28428.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-4373-E
First-order logic is one of the most prominent formalisms in computer science and mathematics. Since there is no algorithm capable of solving its satisfiability problem, first-order logic is said to be undecidable. The classical decision problem is the quest for a delineation between the decidable and the undecidable parts. The results presented in this thesis shed more light on the boundary and open new perspectives on the landscape of known decidable fragments. In the first part we focus on the new concept of separateness of variables and explore its applicability to the classical decision problem and beyond. Two disjoint sets of first-order variables are separated in a given formula if none of its atoms contains variables from both sets. This notion facilitates the definition of decidable extensions of many well-known decidable first-order fragments. We demonstrate this for several prefix fragments, several guarded fragments, the two-variable fragment, and for the fluted fragment. Although the extensions exhibit the same expressive power as the respective originals, certain logical properties can be expressed much more succinctly. In two cases the succinctness gap cannot be bounded using elementary functions. This fact already hints at computationally hard satisfiability problems. Indeed, we derive non-elementary lower bounds for the separated fragment, an extension of the Bernays-Schönfinkel-Ramsey fragment (E*A*-prefix sentences). On the semantic level, separateness of quantified variables may lead to weaker dependences than we encounter in general. We investigate this property in the context of model-checking games. The focus of the second part of the thesis is on linear arithmetic with uninterpreted predicates. Two novel decidable fragments are presented, both based on the Bernays-Schönfinkel-Ramsey fragment. On the negative side, we identify several small fragments of the language for which satisfiability is undecidable.