An Efficient Normalisation Procedure for Linear Temporal Logic and Very Weak Alternating Automata

Salomon Sickert, Javier Esparza

In the mid 80s, Lichtenstein, Pnueli, and Zuck proved a classical theorem stating that every formula of Past LTL (the extension of LTL with past operators) is equivalent to a formula of the form $\bigwedge_{i=1}^n \mathbf{G}\mathbf{F} \varphi_i \vee \mathbf{F}\mathbf{G} \psi_i$, where $\varphi_i$ and $\psi_i$ contain only past operators. Some years later, Chang, Manna, and Pnueli built on this result to derive a similar normal form for LTL. Both normalisation procedures have a non-elementary worst-case blow-up, and follow an involved path from formulas to counter-free automata to star-free regular expressions and back to formulas. We improve on both points. We present a direct and purely syntactic normalisation procedure for LTL yielding a normal form, comparable to the one by Chang, Manna, and Pnueli, that has only a single exponential blow-up. As an application, we derive a simple algorithm to translate LTL into deterministic Rabin automata. The algorithm normalises the formula, translates it into a special very weak alternating automaton, and applies a simple determinisation procedure, valid only for these special automata.

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