Pattern logics and auxiliary relations

Diego Figueira, Leonid Libkin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A common theme in the study of logics over finite structures is adding auxiliary predicates to enhance expressiveness and convey additional information. Examples include adding an order or arithmetic for capturing complexity classes, or the power of real-life declarative languages. A recent trend is to add a data-value comparison relation to words, trees, and graphs, for capturing modern data models such as XML and graph databases.

Such additions often result in the loss of good properties of the underlying logic. Our goal is to show that such a loss can be avoided if we use pattern-based logics, standard in XML and graph data querying. The essence of such logics is that auxiliary relations are tested locally with respect to other relations in the structure. These logics are shown to admit strong versions of Hanf and Gaifman locality theorems, which are used to prove a homomorphism preservation theorem, and a decidability result for the satisfiability problem. We discuss applications of these results to pattern logics over data forests, and consequently to querying XML data.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLogic in Computer Science
Subtitle of host publicationJoint Meeting of the Twenty-Third EACSL Annual Conference on Computer Science Logic (CSL) and the Twenty-Ninth Annual ACM/IEEE Symposium on Logic in Computer Science (LICS), CSL-LICS '14, Vienna, Austria, July 14 - 18, 2014
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-2886-9
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2014

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