Reduction games, provability and compactness

Journal of Mathematical Logic 22 (3) (2022)
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Journal of Mathematical Logic, Volume 22, Issue 03, December 2022. Hirschfeldt and Jockusch (2016) introduced a two-player game in which winning strategies for one or the other player precisely correspond to implications and non-implications between [math] principles over [math]-models of [math]. They also introduced a version of this game that similarly captures provability over [math]. We generalize and extend this game-theoretic framework to other formal systems, and establish a certain compactness result that shows that if an implication [math] between two principles holds, then there exists a winning strategy that achieves victory in a number of moves bounded by a number independent of the specific run of the game. This compactness result generalizes an old proof-theoretic fact noted by H. Wang (1981), and has applications to the reverse mathematics of combinatorial principles. We also demonstrate how this framework leads to a new kind of analysis of the logical strength of mathematical problems that refines both that of reverse mathematics and that of computability-theoretic notions such as Weihrauch reducibility, allowing for a kind of fine-structural comparison between [math] principles that has both computability-theoretic and proof-theoretic aspects, and can help us distinguish between these, for example by showing that a certain use of a principle in a proof is “purely proof-theoretic”, as opposed to relying on its computability-theoretic strength. We give examples of this analysis to a number of principles at the level of [math], uncovering new differences between their logical strengths.



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Ramsey's theorem and recursion theory.Carl G. Jockusch - 1972 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 37 (2):268-280.
Closed choice and a uniform low basis theorem.Vasco Brattka, Matthew de Brecht & Arno Pauly - 2012 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 163 (8):986-1008.
Using Ramsey’s theorem once.Jeffry L. Hirst & Carl Mummert - 2019 - Archive for Mathematical Logic 58 (7-8):857-866.

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