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Publication# The Complexity of Checking Non-Emptiness in Symbolic Tree Automata

Abstract

We study the satisfiability problem of symbolic tree automata and decompose it into the satisfiability problem of the existential first-order theory of the input characters and the existential monadic second-order theory of the indices of the accepted words. We use our decomposition to obtain tight computational complexity bounds on the decision problem for this automata class and an extension that considers linear arithmetic constraints on the underlying effective Boolean algebra.

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In computational complexity theory, a complexity class is a set of computational problems "of related resource-based complexity". The two most commonly analyzed resources are time and memory. In general, a complexity class is defined in terms of a type of computational problem, a model of computation, and a bounded resource like time or memory. In particular, most complexity classes consist of decision problems that are solvable with a Turing machine, and are differentiated by their time or space (memory) requirements.

In computer science, the computational complexity or simply complexity of an algorithm is the amount of resources required to run it. Particular focus is given to computation time (generally measured by the number of needed elementary operations) and memory storage requirements. The complexity of a problem is the complexity of the best algorithms that allow solving the problem. The study of the complexity of explicitly given algorithms is called analysis of algorithms, while the study of the complexity of problems is called computational complexity theory.

First-order logic—also known as predicate logic, quantificational logic, and first-order predicate calculus—is a collection of formal systems used in mathematics, philosophy, linguistics, and computer science. First-order logic uses quantified variables over non-logical objects, and allows the use of sentences that contain variables, so that rather than propositions such as "Socrates is a man", one can have expressions in the form "there exists x such that x is Socrates and x is a man", where "there exists" is a quantifier, while x is a variable.

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