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    The tractability frontier of graph-like first-order query sets

    Chen, Hubie (2014) The tractability frontier of graph-like first-order query sets. In: UNSPECIFIED (ed.) CSL-LICS '14 Proceedings of the Joint Meeting of the Twenty-Third EACSL Annual Conference on Computer Science Logic (CSL) and the Twenty-Ninth Annual ACM/IEEE Symposium on Logic in Computer Science (LICS). New York, U.S.: ACM Publications. ISBN 9781450328869.

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    We study first-order model checking, by which we refer to the problem of deciding whether or not a given first-order sentence is satisfied by a given finite structure. In particular, we aim to understand on which sets of sentences this problem is tractable, in the sense of parameterized complexity theory. To this end, we define the notion of a graph-like sentence set, which definition is inspired by previous work on first-order model checking wherein the permitted connectives and quantifiers were restricted. Our main theorem is the complete tractability classification of such graphlike sentence sets, which is (to our knowledge) the first complexity classification theorem concerning a class of sentences that has no restriction on the connectives and quantifiers. To present and prove our classification, we introduce and develop a novel complexity-theoretic framework which is built on parameterized complexity and includes new notions of reduction.


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