Special Issue: STACS'98

In Valiant developed an algebraic analogue of the theory of NP-completeness for computations of polynomials over a field. We further develop this theory in the spirit of structural complexity and obtain analogues of well-known results by Baker, Gill, and Solovay, Ladner, and Schöning.\par We show that if Valiant's hypothesis is true, then there is a p-definable family, which is neither p-computable nor \textitVNP-complete. More generally, we define the posets of p-degrees and c-degrees of p-definable families and prove that any countable poset can be embedded in either of them, provided Valiant's hypothesis is true. Moreover, we establish the existence of minimal pairs for \textitVP in \textitVNP.\par Over finite fields, we give a \emphspecific example of a family of polynomials which is neither \textitVNP-complete nor p-computable, provided the polynomial hierarchy does not collapse.\par We define relativized complexity classes VP^h and VNP^h and construct complete families in these classes. Moreover, we prove that there is a p-family h satisfying VP^h = VNP^h.

When dictionaries are persistent, it is natural to introduce a transcript operation which reports the status changes for a given key over time. We discuss when and how a time and space efficient implementation of this operation can be provided.

Building on work of Gaifman [Gai82] it is shown that every first-order formula is logically equivalent to a formula of the form ∃ x_1,...,x_l, \forall y, φ where φ is r-local around y, i.e. quantification in φ is restricted to elements of the universe of distance at most r from y. \par From this and related normal forms, variants of the Ehrenfeucht game for first-order and existential monadic second-order logic are developed that restrict the possible strategies for the spoiler, one of the two players. This makes proofs of the existence of a winning strategy for the duplicator, the other player, easier and can thus simplify inexpressibility proofs. \par As another application, automata models are defined that have, on arbitrary classes of relational structures, exactly the expressive power of first-order logic and existential monadic second-order logic, respectively.

We describe the relationship between different parameters of the initial word and its image obtained by application of a uniform marked morphism. The functions described include the subword complexity, frequency of factors, and the recurrence function. The relations obtained for the image of a word can be used also for the image of a factorial language. Using induction, we give a full description of the involved functions of the fixed point of the morphism considered.