A Uniform Approach to the Complexity and Analysis of Succinct Systems

Hans-Jörg Peter

This thesis provides a unifying view on the succinctness of systems: the capability of a modeling formalism to describe the behavior of a system of exponential size using a polynomial syntax.

The key theoretical contribution is the introduction of sequential circuit machines as a new universal computation model that focuses on succinctness as the central aspect. The thesis demonstrates that many well-known modeling formalisms such as communicating state machines, linear-time temporal logic, or timed automata exhibit an immediate connection to this machine model. Once a (syntactic) connection is established, many complexity bounds for structurally restricted sequential circuit machines can be transferred to a certain formalism in a uniform manner. As a consequence, besides a far-reaching unification of independent lines of research, we are also able to provide matching complexity bounds for various analysis problems, whose complexities were not known so far. For example, we establish matching lower and upper bounds of the small witness problem and several variants of the bounded synthesis problem for timed automata, a particularly important succinct modeling formalism.

Also for timed automata, our complexity-theoretic analysis leads to the identification of tractable fragments of the timed synthesis problem under partial observability. Specifically, we identify timed controller synthesis based on discrete or template-based controllers to be equivalent to model checking. Based on this discovery, we develop a new model checking-based algorithm to efficiently find feasible template instantiations.

From a more practical perspective, this thesis also studies the preservation of succinctness in analysis algorithms using symbolic data structures. While efficient techniques exist for specific forms of succinctness considered in isolation, we present a general approach based on abstraction refinement to combine off-the-shelf symbolic data structures. In particular, for handling the combination of concurrency and quantitative timing behavior in networks of timed automata, we report on the tool Synthia which combines binary decision diagrams with difference bound matrices. In a comparison with the timed model checker Uppaal and the timed game solver Tiga running on standard benchmarks from the timed model checking and synthesis domain, respectively, the experimental results clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of our new approach.

PhD Thesis.