Discrete Mathematics & Theoretical Computer Science |

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The ternary relation B(x,y,z) of betweenness states that an element y is between the elements x and z, in some sense depending on the considered structure. In a partially ordered set (N,≤), B(x,y,z):⇔x<y<z∨z<y<x, and the corresponding betweenness structure is (N,B). The class of betweenness structures of linear orders is first-order definable. That of partial orders is monadic second-order definable. An order-theoretic tree is a partial order such that the set of elements larger that any element is linearly ordered and any two elements have an upper-bound. Finite or infinite rooted trees ordered by the ancestor relation are order-theoretic trees. In an order-theoretic tree, B(x,y,z) means that x<y<z or z<y<x or x<y≤x⊔z or z<y≤x⊔z, where x⊔z is the least upper-bound of incomparable elements x and z. In a previous article, we established that the corresponding class of betweenness structures is monadic second-order definable.We prove here that the induced substructures of the betweenness structures of the countable order-theoretic trees form a monadic second-order definable class, denoted by IBO. The proof uses a variant of cographs, the partitioned probe cographs, and their known six finite minimal excluded induced subgraphs called the bounds of the class. This proof links two apparently unrelated topics: cographs and order-theoretic trees.However, the class IBO has finitely many bounds, i.e., minimal excluded finite induced substructures. Hence it is first-order definable. The proof of finiteness uses well-quasi-orders and does not provide the finite list of bounds. Hence, the associated first-order defining sentence is not known.

Source: HAL:hal-03175157v5

Volume: vol. 23 no. 2, special issue in honour of Maurice Pouzet

Section: Special issues

Published on: September 17, 2022

Accepted on: March 2, 2022

Submitted on: March 22, 2021

Keywords: [INFO.INFO-LO]Computer Science [cs]/Logic in Computer Science [cs.LO]

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