On the Complexity of Temporal-Logic Path Checking

Daniel Bundala, Joël Ouaknine

Given a formula in a temporal logic such as LTL or MTL, a fundamental problem is the complexity of evaluating the formula on a given finite word. For LTL, the complexity of this task was recently shown to be in NC. In this paper, we present an NC algorithm for MTL, a quantitative (or metric) extension of LTL, and give an NCC algorithm for UTL, the unary fragment of LTL. At the time of writing, MTL is the most expressive logic with an NC path-checking algorithm, and UTL is the most expressive fragment of LTL with a more efficient path-checking algorithm than for full LTL (subject to standard complexity-theoretic assumptions). We then establish a connection between LTL path checking and planar circuits, which we exploit to show that any further progress in determining the precise complexity of LTL path checking would immediately entail more efficient evaluation algorithms than are known for a certain class of planar circuits. The connection further implies that the complexity of LTL path checking depends on the Boolean connectives allowed: adding Boolean exclusive or yields a temporal logic with P-complete path-checking problem.

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