We investigate model theoretic characterisations of the expressive power of modal logics in terms of bisimulation invariance. The paradigmatic result of this kind is van Benthem’s theorem, which says that a first-order formula is invariant under bisimulation if, and only if, it is equivalent to a formula of basic modal logic. The present investigation primarily concerns ramifications for specific classes of structures. We study in particular model classes defined through conditions on the underlying frames, with a focus on frame classes (...) that play a major role in modal correspondence theory and often correspond to typical application domains of modal logics. Classical model theoretic arguments do not apply to many of the most interesting classes–for instance, rooted frames, finite rooted frames, finite transitive frames, well-founded transitive frames, finite equivalence frames–as these are not elementary. Instead we develop and extend the game-based analysis over such classes and provide bisimulation preserving model constructions within these classes. Over most of the classes considered, we obtain finite model theory analogues of the classically expected characterisations, with new proofs also for the classical setting. The class of transitive frames is a notable exception, with a marked difference between the classical and the finite model theory of bisimulation invariant first-order properties. Over the class of all finite transitive frames in particular, we find that monadic second-order logic is no more expressive than first-order as far as bisimulation invariant properties are concerned — though both are more expressive here than basic modal logic. We obtain ramifications of the de Jongh–Sambin theorem and a new and specific analogue of the Janin–Walukiewicz characterisation of bisimulation invariant monadic second-order for finite transitive frames. (shrink)
We consider fixed point logics, i.e., extensions of first order predicate logic with operators defining fixed points. A number of such operators, generalizing inductive definitions, have been studied in the context of finite model theory, including nondeterministic and alternating operators. We review results established in finite model theory, and also consider the expressive power of the resulting logics on infinite structures. In particular, we establish the relationship between inflationary and nondeterministic fixed point logics and second order logic, and we consider (...) questions related to the determinacy of games associated with alternating fixed points. (shrink)
We consider Choiceless Polynomial Time , a language introduced by Blass, Gurevich and Shelah, and show that it can express a query originally constructed by Cai, Fürer and Immerman to separate fixed-point logic with counting from image. This settles a question posed by Blass et al. The program we present uses sets of unbounded finite rank: we demonstrate that this is necessary by showing that the query cannot be computed by any program that has a constant bound on the rank (...) of sets used, even in image, an extension of image with counting. (shrink)
We identify complete fragments of the simple theory of types with infinity and Quine’s new foundations set theory. We show that TSTI decides every sentence ϕ in the language of type theory that is in one of the following forms: ϕ=∀x1r1⋯∀xkrk∃y1s1⋯∃ylslθ where the superscripts denote the types of the variables, s1>⋯>sl, and θ is quantifier-free, ϕ=∀x1r1⋯∀xkrk∃y1s⋯∃ylsθ where the superscripts denote the types of the variables and θ is quantifier-free. This shows that NF decides every stratified sentence ϕ in the language (...) of set theory that is in one of the following forms: ϕ=∀x1⋯∀xk∃y1⋯∃ylθ where θ is quantifier-free and ϕ admits a stratification that assigns distinct values to all of the variables y1,…,yl, ϕ=∀x1⋯∀xk∃y1⋯∃ylθ where θ is quantifier-free and ϕ admits a stratification that assigns the same value to all of the variables y1,…,yl. (shrink)
We consider the problem of obtaining logical characterisations of oracle complexity classes. In particular, we consider the complexity classes LOGSPACENP and PTIMENP. For these classes, characterisations are known in terms of NP computable Lindström quantifiers which hold on ordered structures. We show that these characterisations are unlikely to extend to arbitrary structures, since this would imply the collapse of certain exponential complexity hierarchies. We also observe, however, that PTIMENP can be characterised in terms of Lindström quantifers , though it remains (...) open whether this can be done for LOGSPACENP. (shrink)
This note investigates the class of finite initial segments of the cumulative hierarchy of pure sets. We show that this class is first-order definable over the class of finite directed graphs and that this class admits a first-order definable global linear order. We apply this last result to show that FO = FO.