The weakness of self-complementation

Orna Kupferman, Moshe Y. Vardi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Model checking is a method for the verification of systems with respect to their specifications. Symbolic model-checking, which enables the verification of large systems, proceeds by evaluating fixed-point expressions over the system's set of states. Such evaluation is particularly simple and eficient when the expressions do not contain alternation between least and greatest fixed-point operators; namely, when they belong to the alternation-free μ-calculus (AFMC). Not all specifications, however, can be translated to AFMC, which is exactly as expressive as weak monadic second-order logic (WS2S). Rabin showed that a set T of trees can be expressed inWS2S if and only if both T and its complement can be recognized by nondeterministic Büchi tree automata. For the \only if" direction, Rabin constructed, given two nondeterministic Büchi tree automata U and U' that recognize T and its complement, a WS2S formula that is satisfied by exactly all trees in T. Since the translation of WS2S to AFMC is nonelementary, this construction is not practical. Arnold and Niwifinski improved Rabin's construction by a direct translation of U and U' to AFMC, which involves a doubly-exponential blow-up and is therefore still impractical. In this paper we describe an alternative and quadratic translation of U and U' to AFMC. Our translation goes through weak alternating tree automata, and constitutes a step towards eficient symbolic model checking of highly expressive specification formalisms.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationSTACS 99 - 16th Annual Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science, Proceedings
EditorsChristoph Meinel, Sophie Tison
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)354065691X, 9783540656913
StatePublished - 1999
Event16th Annual Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science, STACS 1999 - Trier, Germany
Duration: 4 Mar 19996 Mar 1999

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference16th Annual Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science, STACS 1999

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999.


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