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Model-checking for successor-invariant first-order formulas on graph classes of bounded expansion

van den Heuvel, Jan ORCID: 0000-0003-0897-9148, Kreutzer, Stephan, Pilipczuk, Michal, Quiroz, Daniel, Rabinovich, Roman and Siebertz, Sebastian (2017) Model-checking for successor-invariant first-order formulas on graph classes of bounded expansion. In: 2017 32nd Annual ACM/IEEE Symposium on Logic in Computer Science, 2017-06-20 - 2017-06-23, Reykjavik, Iceland. (In Press)

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Identification Number: 10.1109/LICS.2017.8005115


A successor-invariant first-order formula is a formula that has access to an auxiliary successor relation on a structure's universe, but the model relation is independent of the particular interpretation of this relation. It is well known that successor-invariant formulas are more expressive on finite structures than plain first-order formulas without a successor relation. This naturally raises the question whether this increase in expressive power comes at an extra cost to solve the model-checking problem, that is, the problem to decide whether a given structure together with some (and hence every) successor relation is a model of a given formula. It was shown earlier that adding successor-invariance to first-order logic essentially comes at no extra cost for the model-checking problem on classes of finite structures whose underlying Gaifman graph is planar [1], excludes a fixed minor [2] or a fixed topological minor [3], [4]. In this work we show that the model-checking problem for successor-invariant formulas is fixed-parameter tractable on any class of finite structures whose underlying Gaifman graphs form a class of bounded expansion. Our result generalises all earlier results and comes close to the best tractability results on nowhere dense classes of graphs currently known for plain first-order logic.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 European Union
Divisions: Mathematics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2018 12:16
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:08
Projects: 665778, 648527, UMO- 2015/19/P/ST6/03998
Funders: Horizon 2020, Foundation for Polish Science, National Science Centre of Poland

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