ACM Transactions on

Computational Logic (TOCL)

Latest Articles

Pure Sequent Calculi: Analyticity and Decision Procedure

Analyticity, also known as the subformula property, typically guarantees decidability of derivability in propositional sequent calculi. To utilize this fact, two substantial gaps have to be addressed: (i) What makes a sequent calculus analytic? and (ii) How do we obtain an efficient decision procedure for derivability in an analytic calculus? In... (more)

Binary Reachability of Timed-register Pushdown Automata and Branching Vector Addition Systems

Timed-register pushdown automata constitute a very expressive class of automata, whose transitions may involve state, input, and top-of-stack timed... (more)

A SAT Approach to Branchwidth

Branch decomposition is a prominent method for structurally decomposing a graph, a hypergraph, or a propositional formula in conjunctive normal form. The width of a branch decomposition provides a measure of how well the object is decomposed. For many applications, it is crucial to computing a branch decomposition whose width is as small as... (more)


TOCL welcomes submissions related to all aspects of logic as it pertains to topics in computer science. The journal is published quarterly. The first issue appeared in July 2000, and the journal is indexed by ISI beginning with the 2006 volume. About

Forthcoming Articles

Probabilistic epistemic updates on algebras

Incomplete SMT Techniques for Solving Non-Linear Formulas over the Integers

We present new methods for solving the Satisfiability Modulo Theories problem over the theory of Quantifier-Free Non-linear Integer Arithmetic, SMT(QF-NIA), which consists in deciding the satisfiability of ground formulas with integer polynomial constraints. Following previous work, we propose to solve SMT(QF-NIA) instances by reducing them to linear arithmetic: non-linear monomials are linearized by abstracting them with fresh variables and by performing case splitting on integer variables with finite domain. For variables that do not have a finite domain, we can artificially introduce one by imposing a lower and an upper bound, and iteratively enlarge it until a solution is found (or the procedure times out). The key for the success of the approach is to determine, at each iteration, which domains have to be enlarged. Previously, unsatisfiable cores were used to identify the domains to be changed, but no clue was obtained as to how large the new domains should be. Here we explain two novel ways to guide this process by analyzing solutions to optimization problems: (i) to minimize the number of violated artificial domain bounds, solved via a Max-SMT solver, and (ii) to minimize the distance with respect to the artificial domains, solved via an Optimization Modulo Theories (OMT) solver. Using this SMT-based optimization technology allows smoothly extending the method to also solve Max-SMT problems over non-linear integer arithmetic. Finally we leverage the resulting Max-SMT(QF-NIA) techniques to solve $\exists \forall$ formulas in a fragment of quantified non-linear arithmetic that appears commonly in verification and synthesis applications.

Reasoning about Cognitive Trust in Stochastic Multiagent Systems

1-Safe Petri nets and special cube complexes: equivalence and applications

Nielsen, Plotkin, and Winskel (1981) proved that every 1-safe Petri net $N$ unfolds into an event structure $\mathcal{E}_N$. By a result of Thiagarajan (1996 and 2002), these unfoldings are exactly the trace regular event structures. Thiagarajan (1996 and 2002) conjectured that regular event structures correspond exactly to trace regular event structures. In a recent paper (Chalopin and Chepoi, 2017, 2018), we disproved this conjecture, based on the striking bijection between domains of event structures, median graphs, and CAT(0) cube complexes. On the other hand, we proved that Thiagarajan's conjecture is true for regular event structures whose domains are principal filters of universal covers of (virtually) finite special cube complexes. In the current paper, we prove the converse: to any finite 1-safe Petri net $N$ one can associate a finite special cube complex ${X}_N$ such that the domain of the event structure $\mathcal{E}_N$ (obtained as the unfolding of $N$) is a principal filter of the universal cover $\widetilde{X}_N$ of $X_N$. This establishes a bijection between 1-safe Petri nets and finite special cube complexes and provides a combinatorial characterization of trace regular event structures. Using this bijection and techniques from graph theory and geometry (MSO theory of graphs, bounded treewidth, and bounded hyperbolicity) we disprove yet another conjecture by Thiagarajan (from the paper with S. Yang from 2014) that the monadic second order logic of a 1-safe Petri net is decidable if and only if its unfolding is grid-free.

Polarised Nominal Quantifiers Model Private Names in Non-Commutative Logic

This paper explores the proof theory necessary for recommending an expressive but decidable first-order system, named MAV1, featuring a de Morgan dual pair of nominal quantifiers. These nominal quantifiers called `new' and `wen' are distinct from the self-dual Gabbay-Pitts and Miller-Tiu nominal quantifiers. The novelty of these nominal quantifiers is they are polarised in the sense that `new' distributes over positive operators while `wen' distributes over negative operators. This greater control of bookkeeping enables private names to be modelled in processes embedded as predicates in MAV1. The technical challenge is to establish a cut elimination result, from which essential properties including the transitivity of implication follow. Since the system is defined using the calculus of structures, a generalisation of the sequent calculus, novel techniques are employed. The proof relies on an intricately designed multiset-based measure of the size of a proof, which is used to guide a normalisation technique called splitting. The presence of equivariance, which swaps successive quantifiers, induces complex inter-dependencies between nominal quantifiers, additive conjunction and multiplicative operators in the proof of splitting. Every rule is justified by an example demonstrating why the rule is necessary for soundly embedding processes and ensuring that cut elimination holds.

Central Limit Model Checking

We consider probabilistic model checking for continuous-time Markov chains (CTMCs) induced from Stochastic Reaction Networks (SRNs) against a fragment of Continuous Stochastic Logic (CSL) extended with reward operators. Classical numerical algorithms for CSL model checking based on uniformisation are limited to finite CTMCs and suffer from the state space explosion problem. On the other hand, approximate techniques such as mean-field approximations and simulations combined with statistical inference are more scalable, but can be time consuming and do not support the full expressiveness of CSL. In this paper we employ a continuous-space approximation of the CTMC in terms of a Gaussian process based on the Central Limit Approximation (CLA), also known as the Linear Noise Approximation (LNA), whose solution requires solving a number of differential equations that is quadratic in the number of species and independent of the population size. We then develop efficient and scalable approximate model checking algorithms on the resulting Gaussian process, where we restrict the target regions for probabilistic reachability to convex polytopes. This allows us to derive an abstraction in terms of a time-inhomogeneous discrete-time Markov chain (DTMC), whose dimension is independent of the number of species, on which model checking is performed. Using results from probability theory, we prove the convergence in distribution of our algorithms to the corresponding measures on the original CTMC. On a set of examples we demonstrate that our approach allows one to overcome the state space explosion problem, while still correctly characterizing the stochastic behavior of the system.

Modal Resolution: Proofs, Layers and Refinements

Resolution-based provers for multimodal normal logics require pruning of the search space for a proof in order to ameliorate the inherent intractability of the satisfiability problem for such logics. We present a clausal modal-layered hyper-resolution calculus for the basic multimodal logic, which divides the clause set according to the modal level at which clauses occur in order to reduce the number of possible inferences. We show that the calculus is complete for the logics being considered. We also show that the calculus can be combined with other strategies. In particular, we discuss the completeness of combining modal layering with negative and ordered resolution. An implementation of the resulting calculus performs well when compared to other state of the art provers on modal formulae with high modal depth and uniform distribution of propositional symbols over the levels.

A Representation Theorem for Change through Composition of Activities

The expanding use of information systems in industrial and commercial settings has increased the need for interoperation between software systems. In particular, many social, industrial and business information systems require a common basis for a seamless exchange of complex process information. This is, however, inhibited because different systems may use distinct terminologies or assume different meanings for the same terms. A common solution to this problem is to develop logical theories which act as an intermediate language between different parties. In this paper, we characterize a class of activities which can act as intermediate languages between different parties in those cases. We show that for each domain with finite number of elements there exists a class of activities, we called canonical activities, such that all possible changes within the domain can be represented as a sequence of occurrences of those activities. We use an algebraic structure for representing change and characterizing canonical activities, which enables us to abstract away domain-dependent properties of processes and activities, and demonstrate general properties of formalisms required for semantic integration of dynamic information systems.

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