Knowledge, Rationality & Action __ On the Computational Consequences of Independence in Propositional Logic

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Source: Synthese, Vol. 149, No. 2, Knowledge, Rationality & Action (Mar., 2006), pp. 257-

283

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MERLIJN SEVENSTER

OF INDEPENDENCE IN PROPOSITIONAL LOGIC

Logic J. IGPL 9 (2001) 101] study independence friendly propositional logics. That

is, traditional propositional logic extended by means of syntax that allow con

nectives to be independent of each other, although the one may be subordinate

to the other. Sandu and Pietarinen observe that the IF propositional logics have

exotic properties, like functional completeness for three-valued functions. In this

paper we focus on one of their IF propositional logics and study its properties,

by means of notions from computational complexity. This approach enables us to

compare propositional logic before and after the IF make-over. We observe that

all but one of the best-known decision problems experience a complexity jump,

provided that the complexity classes at hand are not equal. Our results concern

every discipline that incorporates some notion of independence such as computer

science, natural language semantics, and game theory. A corollary of one of our

theorems illustrates this claim with respect to the latter discipline.

1. INTRODUCTION

(1961) and later Hintikka (1996), is concerned with abstracting away

from the Fregean assumption that the syntactical scope and binding

of quantifiers in first-order logic (FOL) need to coincide. There is no

doubt the program interacts with many fields of research, including

mathematical logic, natural language semantics, computer science,

philosophy, and game theory. Common ground of these disciplines

in the study of quantifier independence is independence friendly first

order logic. The syntax of independence friendly first-order logic (IF

logic) extends FOL, in the sense that if Vjq?tyi... Vxn3yn R(x, y) is a

FOL formula1 over the predicate R, then

is an IF formula, where Y? c.{x\,... 9x?}. Here and henceforth, a

bold faced variable will denote the series of alike variables; i.e.,

Knowledge, Rationality & Action 3-29

DOI 10.1007/sl 1229-005-3878-5

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258 MERLIJN SEVENSTER

x = x\,... ,xn and y = y\,... ,yn. The syntax of IF logic allows for

independence, in that the variable y? is meant to be independent of

the variables in Yi9 although it appears under their syntactical scope.

Hintikka and Sandu (1997) propose game theory as verification

al framework for IF logic. That is, with every IF formula and suit

able model they associate a semantical evaluation game. These game

typically have the eye-catching property of being of imperfect infor

mation. Truth of an IF formula is defined in terms of a strategy that

wins the evaluation game, despite the imperfect information. From a

mathematical perspective, this notion of (uniform) winning strategy

resembles witnessing Skolem functions. In this paper we will mainly

ignore the game theoretical content, fascinating as it may be, and

adopt the mathematical terminology.

That is, evaluation of an IF formula <t> takes place relative to a

model (D, /), consisting of a domain and an interpretation func

tion. Let O be as in (1), then it is true on (D, /) iff

(D,I*)\=3fl...3fnVxi...Vxn l?(x,f),

where f?: DZi -> D and Zi = {x\,... , x?}\Yi. The functions f\,... , fn

are called Skolem functions and are given their interpretation by the

function /*, that extends /. I.e., / and /* assign every first-order

variable the same object, and /* also assigns functions to f\, ... , fn.

IF logic may be the common ground, with different disciplines

come variations on this theme, though. In natural language seman

tics, for instance, after a lively debate Barwise's (1979) account was

generally accepted, that held that some natural language sentences

had best be analyzed by means of branching quantifiers. In computer

science, Bradfield and Fr?schle (2002) introduced an independence

friendly modal logic to capture concurrency. In game theory, van

Benthem (2000) mentions that IF logic may be used as a calculus

for games of imperfect information. For the study of many-valued

logics, Sandu and Pietarinen (2001, 2003) introduce an IF proposi

tional logic. They show that adding an independence friendly con

nective, transjunction, to propositional logic yields a logic that is

functionally complete for three-valued functions.

In the present paper we concern ourselves with another IF prop

ositional logic, as introduced in Sandu and Pietarinen (2001). For a

change, our aim will not be to show that the IF variant is richer in a

revolutionary way - as in describing natural language sentences with

branching quantifiers or capturing three-valued logics - but rather

to reinvestigate the old notions. In particular, we will compare the

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INDEPENDENCE IN PROPOSITIONAL LOGIC 259

logic, before and after the independence friendly make-over. As we

will see, many notions from propositional logic have natural pen

dants in IF propositional logic, and as such as are perfectly open

to computational investigation. Here and henceforth, by "propo

sitional logic" we will mean propositional logic in the traditional

sense, with its boolean connectives and truth tables. Its formulae will

be denoted by the Greek symbols k, X.

For instance, consider the problem of deciding satisfiability for a for

mula 0 of IF propositional logic as opposed to propositional logic. For

a formula k of the latter language, one needs to compute whether there

exists an interpretation that makes k true. As to 0, one first has to be

sure what exactly is reasonable a notion of satisfiability in IF proposi

tional logic. Roughly, we will say that </> is satisfiable, if there exists an

interpretation and there exist Skolem functions that make </> true.2 Note

the added clause here, that has its computational effect.

We will see that many of the decision problems considered in this

paper experience an increase of complexity when adding indepen

dence friendliness.

We think that this study is representative for the grand study of

quantifier independence, as we translate established notions to the

IF framework and paint a detailed picture of its consequences. We

are convinced that complexity theory3 offers the suitable tools to

this means, for two reasons. Firstly, the connection between logic

and complexity theory has proven to be very intimate, time after

time, cf. Papadimitriou (1994). Secondly, complexity theory appears

to be applicable in the many fields of research studying algorithms

and computability. As such, in the many disciplines where quantifier

independence plays a r?le lessons can be drawn from our studies. As

to game theory, for instance, we recall that IF formulae give rise to

games of imperfect information and so do IF propositional formu

lae. Therefore, any of our results concerning IF propositional logic

can be interpreted as applying to imperfect information games, cf.

van Emde Boas (2003). See also Corollary 5 of the present paper in

comparison to Koller and Megiddo (1992).

In Section 2, we link IF logic to Henkin quantifiers, and recall

Blass and Gurevich's study on the descriptive power of Henkin

quantifiers. Furthermore, we will give an account of the prob

lem QBF and its IF counterpart, IFQBF. We will see that QBF

and IFQBF forms a nice case of increasing complexity, unless

PSPACE = NEXPTIME

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260 MERLIJN SEVENSTER

and Pietarinen's (1997) IF propositional logic, dubbed ?tf. Along

side the syntax we define the notion of extensive encoding for ?tf

We show that model checking ?iF is complete for NP.

In Section 4, we will discuss what makes ?if propositional by

translating the "information unfriendly" sub-language of ?if into

propositional logic. Also, we introduce a notion of conjunctive nor

mal form for ?if

In Section 5, we will consider the complexity of satisfiability and

validity checking. Surprisingly, it turns out that model checking and

satisfiability for ?if are equally hard. Furthermore, we will show

that two polynomial time solvable fragments of propositional logic

have NP-complete IF counterparts. We conclude with a fragment

that experiences no jump in complexity, but we argue by means of

a simple rewriting argument that the IFed fragment is not so inde

pendence friendly anyway.

In Section 6, we will reflect on the fact that satisfiability is NP

complete for both propositional logic and ?if. Intuitively, the latter

is harder. We will justify our intuitions by studying a promise-vari

ant that discriminates the problems, complexitywise.

In Section 7, we will summarize our results and draw some con

clusions on IFing propositional logic and any logic in general.

2. RELATED WORK

Henkin quantifiers. We will briefly recall Blass and Gurevich's result

on the relation between the expressive power of Henkin quantifi

ers and NP-complete problems. Secondly, we will treat the problems

QBF and its IF counterpart, IFQBF, to get a hang of the compara

tive results we are after.

Henkin (1961) introduced the notion of a partially ordered quanti

fier, later to be called a Henkin quantifier. Typically, Henkin quan

tified formulae have a quantifier-free first-order formula O and are

of the form

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INDEPENDENCE IN PROPOSITIONAL LOGIC 261

':'-.': . \ *(x,y).

VxVti ... Vxv,h 3yvJ

Truth of such formulae on a suitable4 model (D, I*) is determined

by the existence of witnessing Skolem functions g\,... ,gv = g9 such

that

(D, /*) f= V*u ... Vxhh ... V*?fi... V^,? 0(x, g),

The expressive power of FOL prefixed by Henkin quantifiers

equals the expressive power of existential second-order logic, as was

proven by Walkoe (1970). This result can be transferred to IF logic,

as Henkin quantifiers can be translated to IF formulae and vice

versa, see Hintikka (1996). For instance, the formula in (2) can be

written

in {*/,i,... ,*,-,/!}.

The computational properties of Henkin quantifiers have been

studied by Blass and Gurevich (1986), by relating Walkoe's result

above and Fagin's (1974) celebrated theorem. The latter theorem

states that the class of decision problems that are solvable in NP

coincides with the class of second-order existential formulae.

As an illustration Blass and Gurevich show that a graph G is

3-colorable iff

for some suitable first-order formula <I>3_coi and the model MG cap

turing G. The authors proceed by investigating the computational

consequences of putting restrictions on the variables in the Henkin

quantifiers. Since the variables y\, y2 are supposed to be assigned

one of the three colors it comes as no surprise, that also

captures 3-colorability, where t\,ti are variables that may only be

assigned three objects. Next, Blass and Gurevich consider restricted

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262 MERLIJN SEVENSTER

quantifiers over what we call indices, that is, variables that range

over a binary domain: I and r. If 3 (or V) quantifies an index /,

rather than a standard variable, we write V (or /\) instead, and say

that / is disjunctively (or conjunctively) quantified. Using this nota

tion, Henkin quantifiers of the form

(Vxi V*i\

\Vx2Vi2)

cannot express NP-properties, unless coNL = NP.5

Peterson et al. (2001) give an example of a computational blow

up due to adding quantifier independence (or imperfect information

in their approach). The authors studied the IF variant of QBF,

which we will call IFQBF.6 They showed that IFQBF is complete

for NEXPTIME, whereas QBF is PSPACE-complete. QBF is the

problem of deciding whether

checking problem, that questions whether for every truth value for

x\9 there exists a truth value for y\9 such that for every truth value

for X2,... , k is true. As an example, consider <i> = Vx3y (x +> y). It

is the case that O e QBF, because for x = false truth of (x <* y) is

obtained by y = false; likewise for x = true.

IFQBF generalizes QBF, for it has instances of the form

Vxi(3yi/Yl)...Vxn(lyn/Yn)K(x,y),

where Y? are subsets of {x\,... ,x?}.

To appreciate the difference between QBF and IFQBF con

sider the computation tree of QBF instances. In the case of O =

Vx3y (x**y), we find its depiction in Figure 1. In a computation

tree, every node corresponds to a (partial) assignment. In partic

ular, the leafs are complete assignments. We label them true, if

the corresponding complete assignment satisfies the propositional

k; otherwise, we label them false. The labels of the leafs can be

propagated all the way up the tree to the initial node, by means

of a backwards induction algorithm, well-known from game the

ory, cf. Osborne and Rubinstein (1994) and van Benthem (2000).

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INDEPENDENCE IN PROPOSITIONAL LOGIC 263

\/x3y (x ^+ y)

Figure 1. The computation tree of <P = Vx3y (x??y). The truth values along

the arrows make up the partial assignments. As such, each leaf corresponds to

a complete truth assignment t and can thus be attached the label true iff t(x) =

t(y). Obviously, the initial node gets label true, as the Skolem function f(true) =

true and f (false) = false is a witness.

Vx(3y/{x}) (x <r+ y)

Figure 2. The computation tree of W =Vx(3y/{x}) (x ?* y). The dotted line

reflects that y is independent of the assignment to x. The space of Skolem func

tions is limited to the constant functions / and /', such that / = true and

f = false. Checking both yields that ^^IFQBF, since neither of points to a leaf

labelled true, regardless of truth value is assigned to x.

tion tree is labelled true. Calculating the label of the initial node

of a tree can be done in polynomial space with respect to the tree's

depth, since the algorithm needs only keep track of one node at a

time. For details consult Papadimitriou (1994). It follows directly

that if O g QBF, there exist witnessing Skolem functions. However,

the backwards induction algorithm does compute these functions

explicitly.

The proof of IFQBF's NEXPTIME-completeness shows that

such explicit mention of Skolem functions is mandatory to deciding

IFQBF. Such functions are in the worst case of size exponential in

the depth of the computation tree. For a depiction of the computa

tion tree of IFQBF instance ^ =Vx(3y/{x}) (x<+y) see Figure 2.

To check membership for IFQBF, Peterson et al. (2001) show that

there is no way to avoid non-deterministically guessing entire Sko

lem functions, unless PSPACE = NEXPTIME.

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264 MERLIJN SEVENSTER

nectives, ??f, treating connectives as restricted quantifiers. Strictly

speaking, ?if is a sub-language of IF logic and not propositional.

We will explore its propositional aspect in Section 4.

Let a signature a be a countable set of nullary predicate symbols.

Most of the time we will not mention the signature of a logic and

simply write ?if instead of ?if(o0.

set containing all strings of the form

where / g {V> A} and ^ is a function mapping {I, r}1 onto the set

(<2,-"<2 I Q^v)- So negations only appear directly in front of a

predicate. P will be called a predicate pointer. ?\y(o) is obtained

from ?(ct), by applying the following procedure a finite number

of times to any 0 g ?(<?):

If \? js occurs in <j> and Js ? {iu ... , is}9 replace it by (\J js/Js).

? and ?if are not defined recursively. We like to point out that a

recursive version is easily provided for ?. As to ?if, and IF lan

guages in general, one might wonder what is the value of a recur

sively defined IF language, as its semantics (given below) is not

recursive. This question touches on the discussion whether or not it

is possible to give a (natural) compositional semantics for IF logic, a

discussion we are happy to avoid in this writing. We refer the inter

ested reader to Hodges (2001) and Sandu and Hintikka (2001).

We will not set out the usual game theoretical apparatus to define

the semantics for ?tf- Instead, we stick to defining truth in terms

of Skolem functions. In order to do so, we introduce the Skolemi

zation of a formula 0 g ?if; (</>)Skolem is obtained by applying the

following sequence of steps to every disjunctive quantifier in (p:

- remove (VisM)

- put 3fs in front

- replace js in 0's predicate pointer with fs(is), where is is the string

of conjunctively quantified variables containing it iff js occurs in

the syntactical scope of it and it g Js.

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INDEPENDENCE IN PROPOSITIONAL LOGIC 265

Note that the order in which these steps are applied is immaterial,

due to the semantics that will follow in due course.

For the sake of illustration, observe that (/\i\/ j P(i, 7))Skolem =

3f /\i P(i, /(/)). Here, j is dependent on i. This is not the case in

(f\i(\/ j/{i}) P(i, y))Skolem = 3f/\i P(i, f). Recall that formulae in

?if are evaluated with respect to {l,r}. So in the latter formula /

is a constant function, either assigning ? or r. As such, / functions

to the effect of an index, hence the formula can equivalently be put

asViA? P(iJ)

DEFINITION 2 (Semantics ? and ?IF). Consider ?iF(cr) and a

suitable interpretation function /. Then, for every 0g?if(oO

true and being false coincide. This is not the case for IF logic nor is

it for ?ip. We will ignore this intriguing property, referring the inter

ested reader to Hintikka and Sandu (1997) and Dechesne (2005).

In this paper, we concern ourselves with the computational

properties of ?if. The computing devices under consideration are

Turing-machines, requiring a specification of the encoding of ?if's

formulae. The canonical encoding is the so-called extensive encoding.

For a formula (/> = Q P(i\9... 9in) of ?tf to be encoded extensively

means being written on the tape of a Turing machine as follows:

separation symbol, and >, <\ are the designated start and end sym

bols. It is noteworthy that the size of the encoding of Q requires

?(n2lgn) cells; one cell for a quantifier's type, and at most n\gn

cells for the indices it is independent of. It is easy to see that the

encoding of the predicate pointer takes (D(n2n) cells; so this takes

an exponential amount of space more than the extensive encoding

of the quantifier prefix.

Armed with Definitions 1 and 2 and the coding convention,

we encounter the first computational problem on our way: model

checking. Given a suitable interpretation function / and a formula

(p g ?if, is it the case that ({?, r}, /) [=0? The remainder of this sec

tion will be dedicated to proving the following theorem.

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266 MERLIJN SEVENSTER

complete for P. Finding that a problem is in P is considered a posi

tive event, since P is usually taken to be the class of tractable prob

lems, cf. Garey and Johnson (1979) and Papadimitriou (1994).

Before we get to the proof of Theorem 3, there is one definition

on our way. For 0 g ?tF, let (0)Skoiem = 3/!.. .3/? A*i - A in P(l f )

We define the set Pf to be equivalent to

(J P(c,f).

ce{l,ry

predicate pointer P can assign, when the disjunctively quantified

indices are assigned objects according to f. From a game theoret

ical perspective Pf is a power set, cf. van Benthem (2000), and we

will address it like that. The notion of a power set happens to be

very useful.

LEMMA 4. ({?, r}, /*) \= 3/i... 3fn /\ ix... f\ in P(i, f) iff for some

witness g = gi,... , gn of the variables f\, ... , fn9 it is the case that

for every QePg,I(Q)=true; and for every ->QePg9 I(Q)=false.

Proof of Theorem 3.

Membership. Consider 0 g ?if and a suitable interpretation function

/. It is convenient and harmless to assume that 0 be of the follow

ing form

By Definition 2, ({?, r}, /) \=(p iff ({?, r}, /*) |= (0)Skolem. By Lemma

4, the latter is equivalent to there existing a witness g = g\,... ,gn

such that / renders all the elements in the power set Pg true. Every

Skolem function gs has at most n arguments, which implies that

writing down gs takes about 0(n2n) cells. This may be exponen

tial in the number of 0's indices, it is still of the same order as

the length of the extensive encoding of 0. Hence, g\,... , gn can be

guessed non-deterministically in a polynomial number of steps in

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INDEPENDENCE IN PROPOSITIONAL LOGIC 267

strings in {I, r}[ and collecting the P(i, g)s. This can be done in time

polynomial in ?{n2n). Finally, verify whether all elements of Pg are

true under /, which can also be done in polynomial time.

Hardness. We reduce from 3-colorability. Let G = (V, E) be an

undirected graph. Without loss of generality assume that lg \V\ is an

integer n, where lgjc=2logjc. We saw in Section 2.1 that Blass and

Gurevich proved that G is 3-colorable iff

where t\9t2 range over the three colors 1,2, 3. This formula can be

translated to IF logic, the way (2) was translated to an IF formula:

The crucial observation we make is that the x -variables can be simu

lates with n indices each and the ?-variables with two variables each:

x\,X2 range over V = {v\,... , V2?}9 whereas n indices can be seen as

ranging over {?,r}n. That is, associate with every ce{?,r}n a ver

tex in V9 considering any such c as coding an integer rcn. We will

straightforwardly take rcn to be the integer that is c as its binary

encoding plus one, reading ? as 0 and r as 1. So rllO ? 1 and

rrrrn = 8.

We claim that the IF formula (5) can thus be formulated as a for

mula 0 g ?if, that is, as an IF formula with only restricted quanti

fiers:

where /\is = /\isX.../\iSjn for s g {1,2} and J = {i\,\,... ,/i,?}. Note

that this formula would allow one to color G with four colors, since

rji,J2~l = 49 if 7i =J2 = r. This possibility will be harmless to our

purposes since 3>3-coi(x, t\, ?2) is false if t\, t2 ? {1, 2, 3}.

The predicate pointer P3_coi mimics <I>3_coi completely, in that

P (\ i r>=? A ? MG\=?2-co\(Vri^,Vrh-i,Vrhj^,VrhJ^)

/-3-COHI1.I2,? |_A if MGfc?3- l(Vrir,Vri2,,VrJ[j2.,Vrhj4n).

We claim that (4) is true iff {{l,r},I) |= 0, where / is such that

1(A) = true. The point is that (4) is true iff there is a coloring F:

V -> {1, 2, 3} iff there are two Skolem functions f\, fi mimicking F

iff the power set P/-,,/2 contains only As and no -"As.

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268 MERLIJN SEVENSTER

obtained from G in polynomial time. This is obviously the case

for 0's quantifierblock. As to its predicate pointer, we recall that

n = lg|V|. Since 0 has 2n + 4 indices, P3-Coi has 22"+4 = 16|G|2

arguments. Per argument CiC2did2 G { ,r}?l'?2jl'i2 get the (possibly

negated) predicate P3-coi(ci,C2,di,d2), by checking whether it is the

case that MG h=4>3_coi(t;rCln, vrC2^, vrd{i, vr?2-}). The latter step resem

bles to model checking a propositional formula and can therefore be

done in P. D

details, there is an interesting corollary to Theorem 3. In Hintikka

(1996) and Hintikka and Sandu (1997), truth of an IF formula on

a model is defined as the existential player having a winning strategy

in the semantic game, that is uniform with respect to the non-Fre

gean independencies in the formula.

(Hintikka-Sandu-style) winning strategy in a semantic game of an

?if formula is NP-complete. The same problem is complete for

P, if we restrict ourselves to the semantic games of propositional

formulae. A similar result was obtained in game theory in Koller

and Megiddo (1992) with respect to the class of all two-player

games with imperfect information.

friendly propositional logic, by translating ? into propositional

logic. Furthermore, we recall the well-known notion of conjunctive

normal form from propositional logic, and generalize it in order to

apply it to ?if

Since the domain on which ? is evaluated is two-valued, we

can have the object I (r) represent the left (right) sub-formula of

a conjunction or a disjunction. This is the idea behind the nat

ural translation T that maps formulae in ?(<r) to propositional

formulae:8

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INDEPENDENCE IN PROPOSITIONAL LOGIC 269

QT=AQ

(-,<2)T=^4Q

(Vf 0(O)T=(0WTV0(r)T),

where ? g or is a nullary predicate and AQ is a propositional atom.

Truth of a propositional formula is evaluated with respect to a

(suitable) function t that maps all the propositional formula's prop

ositional variables onto the set of truth values, {false, true}. Hence

forth, such a function t will be called a truth assignment and we will

tacitly assume that it is suitable.

We omit the easy proof that shows that for every 0G?(a)

where tj is the truth assignment, such that for every Qeo, tj(QT) =

/(G).

we will adopt its vocabulary. So, if A g a call A an atom. If L is an

atom or an atom preceded by an arbitrary finite number of nega

tions, call it a literal. We call a literal positive if is has an even num

ber of negations, negative otherwise.

Many results in the literature on the complexity of propositional

logic involve clauses, that is, a disjunction of literals. We say that a

propositional formula k is in conjunctive normal form (CNF), if it is

a conjunction of clauses: k = C\A.. .ACn.

But CNF is a traditional notion, and does not apply to formulae

in ? straight away. In the present paper, we will adhere to the fol

lowing notion. We say that a formula of ? is in CNF iff it is of the

following form:

That this definition is a natural candidate can be argued for in two

directions. As to the one direction: the natural translation of a CNF

formula of ?, yields a propositional formula that is in CNF, modulo

some harmless brackets. As to the converse direction: every propo

sitional formula k that is in CNF can be written as a formula of the

form (6).

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270 MERLIJN SEVENSTER

restricted quantifiers over the indices i = i\,... ,it that are meant to

refer to clause Op. Possibly rP>n9 but we overcome this by pos

tulating that for every such i, the clause Op is just C\.

Secondly, one gets rid of the disjunctions within the different

clauses in roughly the same way. Let Cs be the clause in k with the

greatest number of literals, say m, and let /= \\gm\. It suffices to

introduce / new indices j = ji,... ,ji, that point to the literals. Again

there is the possibility that rjn is greater than the number of literals

in a clause, in which case we let it simply refer to the clause's first

literal.

All in all, k = C\ A ... a Cn is transformed to the following ?

formula:

where P(i,j) is the rjnth literal in the rinth clause of k (keeping

the postulations in mind that we made with regard to rin and rjn

exceeding the number of clauses or literals in a clause, respectively).

to ?if. We say that a formula of ?if is in conjunctive normal form

iff it is of the following form

It is a routine exercise to show that every formula of propositional

logic can be rewritten into a CNF equivalent. This result applies

trivially to ? as well. More interestingly, it is also the case for its

independence friendly counterpart, ?if, as we can push the disjunc

tive quantifiers all the way to the right of the quantifierblock while

keeping track of the conjunctive quantifiers we encounter. We show

this by means of an example. Consider the following formula:

/\h/\h(\/j/{h})/\h p&n>

that is true on a model (D, I) iff (Z), /*) |= 3f Ah Ah Ah P(l

f(?2?). Now, we can push \J j to the right, so that it appears at

the right-hand side of /\?3. We must be careful here, not to make j

dependent of 13. This we prevent by adding i3 to the set {i\}9 yield

ing the ?if formula Ah Ah Ah (V j/{iu h}) P(lj). Again, this

formula is true on (D, I) iff (D, I*)\=3f Ah Ah Ah P(l f(h))

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INDEPENDENCE IN PROPOSITIONAL LOGIC 271

For future reference, we define the notion of a clause for CNF for

mulae of ?if- In propositional logic a clause is disjunction of liter

als. In ?if, we rather consider clauses as multisets of literals. For let

0 g ?if be in CNF as in (8), then for every c g {I, r}1 let the multiset

Ocn be the rc~1th clause of 0, where

model. Yet another business is checking whether a formula is satis

fiable or valid. As to propositional logic, the problems of satisfiabil

ity and validity are well-known in complexity theory. For instance,

CNF-SAT is the problem of deciding whether there exists a truth

assignment t rendering k true, for an arbitrary propositional for

mula k in CNF. Folklore has it that CNF?-SAT is complete for

NP, provided that all of its instances have at most n literals per

clause, for n > 3. Much attention has been with studying fragments

of propositional logic, that yield satisfiability problems with lower

complexity. We recall the satisfiability problem for the Horn frag

ment and CNF2-SAT, that have P-complete and NL-complete com

plexity, respectively.

In Section 5.1, we define the notions of satisfiability and validity

and establish their computational complexity. In Section 5.2 three

fragments of ?if are considered, that are defined analogous to frag

ments of propositional logic.

Naturally, let us say that 0 g ?if is satisfiable iff there exists a

suitable interpretation I, such that ({?, r}, I) f= 0. And likewise

define the notion of validity. Recall that a propositional formula is

valid iff it is true no matter the truth assignment. We extend as

follows: 0g?if is a validity iff for every interpretation function I,

({ ,r},/)h0.

In the following theorems we pinpoint the complexity of comput

ing whether 0 g ?if is satisfiable and valid, respectively. We argue

that both results are surprising in their own way.

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272 MERLIJN SEVENSTER

Proof

Membership. Fix a formula 0 g?if- Obviously, the number of atoms

in 0 is smaller than |0|, since it can impossibly exceed the size of the

extensive encoding of 0's predicate pointer. Therefore, one can non

deterministically guess the interpretation function I in polynomial

time. This leaves us with the problem of deciding whether I satisfies

0, i.e., a model checking problem. Theorem 3 shows how to do this

in non-deterministic polynomial time.

Hardness. Since ? is contained in ?if, it suffices to reduce

CNF4-SAT to ?'s satisfiability problem. This is easy, recalling our

discussion on CNF for ? and ?if from the previous section. We

showed, namely, that every instance k of CNF4-SAT has an equiva

lent ? formula 0. 0 can be obtained from k in polynomial time. D

but it becomes interesting when contrasted to ?if's model checking

complexity. Both the model checking and the satisfiability complex

ity of ?if are NP-complete. The vast majority of logics, however,

have it that the model checking complexity is lower than the com

plexity of deciding satisfiability.9 From the fact that for ?if these

tasks happen to coincide, we learn that the complexity of computing

witnessing Skolem functions is of the same order as the complex

ity of computing a witnessing interpretation. In Section 6, we will

revisit this issue when we abstract away from the cost of guessing

an interpretation.

We conclude this subsection with the validity problem ?if. This

problem is coNP-complete for propositional logic.

Proof

Membership. Fix 0g?if. 0 is not a validity iff there exists an inter

pretation / that does not make it true. The latter proposition can

be checked by first non-deterministically guessing an interpretation

/ that will falsify 0, if any. Next do the model checking with respect

to / and 0 doable in NP, due to Theorem 3.

Hardness. We rather give a proofsketch, as the details are lengthy

and tedious. We reduce from the problem QSAT2, that is, given a for

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INDEPENDENCE IN PROPOSITIONAL LOGIC 273

where

formula *I>(x) = 3y\.. .3ynK(x, y) to a model checking instance of

?iF. Because checking {false, true} (=*!> resembles to satisfiability for

propositional logic, it is NP-complete just as model checking ?iF

is. Hence, there is a reduction from model checking *I> to model

checking ?IF. Modulo some bookkeeping tricks, the reduced * is

true for every assignment to the variables x iff it is a validity iff

{false, true} (=4>. D

the tautology problem increases one level in the polynomial hierar

chy. This is remarkable, since in propositional logic the problems of

satisfiability and validity have complementary complexity. Theorem

7 shows that in ?if that validity is "harder" than the satisfiability,

unless NP = coNPNP.

The fact that satisfiability for propositional logic is complete for NP

is considered negative, as it implies that this problem is not tracta

ble. This inconvenience started up the search for fragments that have

tractable complexity. Below we treat three of the best-known frag

ments and study the complexity of their IFed counterparts.

fragment. We say that a CNF formula C\ a ... a Cn is a Horn for

mula, if all the clauses C,- contain at most one positive literal. The

satisfiability problem for the Horn fragment of propositional logic is

complete for P.

The Horn property can naturally be transferred to ?if. Let 0g

?if be in CNF. Then, we say that 0 is Horn, if all of 0's clauses

contain at most one positive literal, taking 'clause' as in (9). Let

HORN-?IF-SAT be the satisfiability problem for the Horn fragment

of ?IF.

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274 MERLIJN SEVENSTER

instance. If any of its clauses C? contains a positive literal L, replace

it with -iZ/ and conjunctively add (L ^> -,Z/)5 where V is a new

atom. In this manner, if L,M,N are positive literals, then (--L v

MvN) becomes

(-L v -M' V -*N') A (M < > -M') A (N *> -TV').

Since X contains more atoms than k, it is not the case that k and k

are equivalent in the sense that every t that makes k true also makes

X true. However, what matters is the converse condition: if t satis

fies X it also satisfies k. We call such a pair of formulae satisfiability

equivalent.

? is obviously not Horn itself, and there is no effective way to

make it so, unless P = NP. But that's the case for propositional

logic. We will see that there is an effectively computable formula in

the Horn fragment of ?if that is equivalent to k. To this end let

D\,... , Dk be ?'s clauses, where lg& equals the integer m (without

loss of generality). Consider the formula

As we did before the indices i are used to refer to ?'s clause Drp.

X (i) will be a construct of the following form

/\jl/\jl(\/j3/{jlj2})(\/j4/{jlj2})P(l?)

and P is defined in such a way that ?rP and x(0 are satisfiability

equivalent.10 If clause Drp is of the form (L *>--//), x(i) be speci

fied as in Figure 3.

It suffices to prove that Drp and x (0 are satisfiability equivalent.

This can be evaluated by checking all of x(0's power sets, due to

Figure 3. Depiction of x(i)> in case ?'s clause Z)rp is of the form (L^>-^L').

A is a new atom not occurring outside /(i).

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INDEPENDENCE IN PROPOSITIONAL LOGIC 275

Lemma 4. Per string cg {I, r}\ there are four different pairs of Sko

lem functions fo, f\ that determine the values of 73, 74, respectively.

Let f? be the function such that f?(i) ? d9 for d e{l,r} and m e

{3,4}. The power sets read as follows:

PftJt(i) = {-A,^A,L9^L'}

PftJ;(i) = {-A,^A,^L,L}

Pfrj?(i) = {^A,Lr,^L',-^A}

P/?t/?(i) = {L,,-A,-A,-L}.

Obviously, any interpretation that makes all literals in Pftfe(?) and

Pfrjr(i) true also makes Drp true. Furthermore, no interpretation

can satisfy all literals in the other two power sets.

If Drp is of the form Kv--Mv^iV), x(\) works to the effect

of the tree depicted in Figure 4. In this case, it is easy to see that

Drp and x(i) are equivalent, since no new atoms are introduced.

Remains to note that whatever form a clause in ? has, every

clause in the reduced ?tf formula 0 contains at most one positive

literal. Hence, 0 is an instance of HORN-?if-SAT, that is satisfi

ability equivalent to ?.

number of appearances per atom. All the results concerning these

restrictions can be found in Kleine B?ning and Lettman (1999).

Let us define the satisfiability problem READ?-SAT, as the stan

dard satisfiability problem with propositional formulae as instances

in which each atom appears at most n times. It turns out that

READ?-SAT is complete for NP, if n > 2. However, the prob

lem READ2-CNF-SAT, that considers instances that are also in

CNF, is decidable in linear time. We will see that the IF vari

ant, READ2-CNF-?if-SAT, is still complete for NP. It is natu

rally defined on instances 0 g ?if, such that 0 is in CNF and if 0's

-nL -^M -.JV -iTV -.L -.M -.N -.AT -.L --M -.JV -.N -.L ^M ^N -^N

Figure 4. Depiction of x (i), in case ?'s clause Drp is of the form (->L v ->M

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276 MERLIJN SEVENSTER

then L, M, N are not based on the same atom.

that has CNF formulae as instance with four literals per clause

and every atom appearing at most three times. Let k be such an

instance. Assume, without loss of generality, that it contains per

positive literal K dit least one negative literal -*K9 and vice versa.

Otherwise, if K (-*K) appears only positively (negatively), one just

assigns it true (false) and considers /c's clauses that do not contain

K. All in all, k can be supposed to be of the form

(K v L\ v L2 v L3) A (K v Mi v M2 v M3)

a(->K v N\ v N2 v Af3) ak',

where K does not occur in k'. For the new atoms Q\, 02, the

formula

(-?02 v Mi v M2 v M3) A (- ?' v N\VN2v N3) A k'

rences of K, Q\, 02 and is a constant larger than k. Applying this

transformation as many times as there are atoms occurring three

times in k yields a satisfiability equivalent formula, call it ? = Ci A

...aCH9 with only two occurrences per atom.11 X has two kinds

of clauses: Either d is of the form

(Kv(QiaQ2)) or (KvLvMvN).

We argue that there exists a CNF formula in ?if in which every

atom appears only twice, that is satisfiability equivalent to X. Our

argumentation proceeds along the lines of the proof of Theorem 8,

as we consider the formula

where lgn = m and x(i) is the construct that mimics the ri~lth clause

in X. If Op is of the form (K v (Q\ a Q2)), the corresponding x~

construct is depicted in Figure 5. In the other case, it is depicted in

Figure 6.

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INDEPENDENCE IN PROPOSITIONAL LOGIC 277

x(i)

Figure 5. Depiction of x(i)> m case ^'s clause CrP is of the form (Kv(Q\ a

g2)). A, A! are new atoms, not occurring outside xO)- Note that any pair of Sko

lem functions fi, f, where f3(\) = r, cannot be a witness, as it would result in a

power set containing both A and ->A or A' and ->A'.

x(i)

N). A, A'', A"', A!" are new atoms, not occurring outside x(i).

introduces at most two copies of A, A!, A", A"''. Since X contains at

most two occurrences of any atom, so does 0. Hence, CNF4-SAT

can be reduced to READ2-CNF-??F-SAT. D

Finally, we consider the IF variant of CNF?-SAT, where n = 2. This

problem is NL-complete. The IF counterpart is defined as follows:

Let 0 g ?if be in CNF. Then, 0 is an instance of CNF2-?if-SAT,

if all of 0's clauses (being multisets!) contain exactly two literals.

The latter can only be the case, of course, if 0's quantifierblock is

a string of conjunctive quantifiers with one disjunctive quantifier at

the right-hand end.

mic space many one reduction to the problem CNF2-?if-SAT (i),

and vice versa (ii).

As to (i). Fix an instance C\ A... ACn of CNF2-SAT. Via the

translation procedure from CNF formulae to ? discussed in Section

4, we get an equivalent formula as in (7), where / = lg 2 = 1. It is trivial

to see that this translation can be performed in logarithmic space.

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278 MERLIJN SEVENSTER

to CNF2-SAT. Let 0 be of the form

/\h-.-f\h(\/j/j) P(U),

where J = {j\,... , jm} ? {ix,... , /?}. We can manipulate the order of

the /\s in 0, without affecting its truth-condition. In essence this is

the same trick, now applied conversely, as transforming every for

mula of ?if into an CNF equivalent. So the formula

l\i\-f\i'kl\h-.-/\jm{\/j/j) Pd',lj),

is equivalent to 0, where i[,... , *? = i' are the indices in the comple

ment of JU{j}. Now, we push the disjunctive quantifier to the left

until we meet /\/? and remove /:

do Ai'?---A?'?V;'A?---A?? win,

being a formula without independencies! The formula (10) is satisfi

able iff there exists an / such that for every cg {I, r}1', there exists a

/(c) G {I, r}9 such that no matter what de {?, r}J we pick, it is always

the case that /(P(c, d, f(c))) = true. We show that whether such /

exists can be cast as an instance k of CNF2-SAT, as follows: Intro

duce two new atoms Ac?9 Acr per ce{l,r}1'. Eventually, if k is satis

fied by an interpretation /, / can be read of from it in the following

way:

t if I(Aci) = true

/(c) = r if I(Aci) = false and I(Acr) = true

undefined otherwise.

isfies k and I (Ae?) = true, then f(c) = l would be a right choice in

the sense that for every de{?,r}], I(P(c,d,t)) = true.

To this end, k contains the clause (-?AC?, v L), for every ce e

{I, r}hj and every literal L e {J?e{? r}j P(c, d, e). To ensure that / sat

isfies at least one of each pair Ac? and Acr - i.e., that / be complete

- let k also contain the clause (Ac^vAcr).

For instance, consider A *'(V .//{*'}) P(hj), then the satisfiabili

ty equivalent instance of CNF2-?if-SAT reads as (->A? v P(t, I)) a

(-A, V P(r, I)) A (-Ar V P(i, r)) A (-Ar V P(r, r)) A (At V Ar).

k is thus a conjunction of clauses, each containing only two liter

als. Since CNF2-SAT can be decided in NL, so can CNF2-?if-SAT,

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INDEPENDENCE IN PROPOSITIONAL LOGIC 279

The main point in seeing this, is that at any stage of getting from 0

to k, one only needs to keep track of the string c g {I, r}\ that can

be done in O(lg|0|).

NP. In the light of all the complexity jumps in the previous section,

it is interesting to note that no jump occurs when IFing propositional

logic, since satisfiability for propositional logic is also NP-complete.

Intuitively, however, it remains the case that satisfiability for ?TF is

harder, since it consists of two NP-complete problems; finding a sat

isfying interpretation and model checking.

We justify this intuition by softening the computational bur

den of computing a satisfying interpretation in an appropriate way,

thereby isolating the burden of model checking. This example shows

that computational complexity can be used to compare NP-com

plete problems.

Consider the promise n holding that the number of different

atoms in a formula is logarithmically bounded by the size of the

formula. Applied to ?if, this means that there exists a logarithmic

function /, such that for every extensively encoded 0g?if, the num

ber of different atoms referred to by 0's predicate pointer is smaller

than /(|0|). Let SAT^ be propositional logic's satisfiability problem

under the promise n and let ?if-SAT^ be the same problem for ?tF.

In Theorem 11 and 12 we will see that n discriminates SAT^

from its IFed counterpart, unless P = NP.

Proof

Membership. Fix a formula k of propositional logic. Due to n, the

number of atoms in k is less than 1(\k\). Now, collect these atoms

and do the model checking with respect to every different interpre

tation that can be defined over them. There are less than 2/(|/c|) =

?(\k\c) different interpretations for some constant c, hence, this

computation can be performed in a polynomial number of steps

with respect to \k\.

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280 MERLIJN SEVENSTER

ing for propositional logic is P-complete. D

Proof.

Membership. Follows directly from the membership-part of the proof

of Theorem 6.

Hardness. Satisfiability requires model checking. The hardness

part of the proof of Theorem 3 can be copied here, as it introduces

only one atom. D

7. CONCLUSION

We summarize our results below. Note that all problems are pin

pointed up to completeness, where appropriate.

Model checking P NP

Validity coNP coNPNP

Satisfiability NP NP

Sat. under n P NP

Sat. for Horn fragment P NP

Sat. for READ2HCNF fragment linear time NP

Sat. for CNF2 fragment NL NL.

In this paper we concerned ourselves with the comp

properties of ??f that was introduced as an independence

propositional logic. Its founders, Sandu and Pietarinen, wer

interested in the exotic properties ?if enjoys. Our investiga

that, by and large, these properties come at the cost of

complexity.

There is no canonical way to get the IF pendant of a logi

cal language. In our opinion, though, ?tf would make a good

candidate for the propositional elections. Therefore, we think we

are justified to make some general remarks about the IF pro

gramme, inspired by our propositional considerations. The scien

tific programme of quantifier independence adds another dimension

to quantification. The consequences of this enterprize are twofold:

one enjoys the increased power, yet one loses a great deal of nice

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INDEPENDENCE IN PROPOSITIONAL LOGIC 281

sive power of second order existential logic, but is not axiomitizable

anymore as opposed to FOL, cf. Hintikka (1996).

From this paper we learn that the property of tractability is not

regained when we restrict ourselves to fragments of the logical lan

guage. We are convinced that similar results can be obtained in

other disciplines that study quantifier independence.

These considerations give rise to the question whether there are

intermediate stages of quantifier independence, that would allow one

to introduce a meaningful, yet restrained, notion of independence,

whilst keeping desirable properties. Inspiration may come from fur

ther contemplations on quantifier independence in logic, but also

from imperfect information in game theory, concurrency from com

puter science, or any other discipline interacting with the IF pro

gram.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I thank Peter van Emde Boas for his continuing support, guiding

remarks and insights. I thank the anonymous referees and Francien

Dechesne for their comments, that improved the paper considerably.

I thank the organizers of the Knowledge and Games workshop,

for hosting my virtual presentation. I thank Victor de Boer for edit

ing my video presentation.

NOTES

paper we will not treat open formulae, and only consider closed ones. For an

analysis of open IF formulae, refer to Dechesne (2005).

2 What it means for an interpretation function and Skolem functions to make a

formula true will become clear in due course. For now, we only wish to give an

intuitive account.

3 In this paper we will deal with a limited number of complexity classes, that are

ordered as follows:

NLcpc ^ ccoNPNP

- - coNP ~

Note that none of the inclusions is known to be strict. In practice, the differenc

can be dramatic, though. Completeness is measured with respect to polynomial

time many one reductions, unless indicated otherwise.

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282 MERLIJN SEVENSTER

bols in the formula at hand. Recall our remark in Section 1 about the difference

between / and /*.

5 Later it was proven that NL = coNL.

6 In Peterson et al. (2001), the problem is called dependency quantified boolean

formula, DQBF.

7 For every formula ^r, \ty\ denotes the length of the extensive encoding of \?r.

If X is a set, |X| denotes X's cardinality.

8 For the sake of readability, we pretend that ? was defined recursively.

9 The reader may think of the following logics:

Propositional logic P-complete NP-complete

Basic modal logic P-complete PSPACE-complete

First-order logic PSPACE-complete undecidable.

sub-formula exists. However, since x is only preceded by conjunctive quantifiers

and in x no disjunctively quantified index is slashed over an index in {?i,... ,/?}

we can harmlessly regard x(i) itself as a formula in ?IF. As such, we will talk

about its satisfiability.

11 Note that ? is not in CNF and cannot effectively be cast in such a form,

unless READ2-CNF-SAT = READ2-SAT. The latter is unlikely, as it would imply

that P = NP

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ILLC

Universiteit van Amsterdam

UK

E-mail: sevenstr@science.uva.nl

[29]

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