FSTTCS 2005: Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science

Volume 3821 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 261-272

Refining the Undecidability Frontier of Hybrid Automata

  • Venkatesh MysoreAffiliated withCourant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU
  • , Amir PnueliAffiliated withCourant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYUThe Weizmann Institute of Science

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Reachability becomes undecidable in hybrid automata (HA) that can simulate a Turing (TM) or Minsky (MM) machine. Asarin and Schneider have shown that, between the decidable 2-dim Piecewise Constant Derivative (PCD) class and the undecidable 3-dim PCD class, there lies the “open” class 2-dim Hierarchical PCD (HPCD). This class was shown to be equivalent to the class of 1-dim Piecewise Affine Maps (PAM). In this paper, we first explore 2-dim HPCD’s proximity to decidability, by showing that they are equivalent to 2-dim PCDs with translational resets, and to HPCDs without resets. A hierarchy of intermediates also equivalent to the HPCD class is presented, revealing semblance to timed and initialized rectangular automata. We then explore the proximity to the undecidability frontier. We show that 2-dim HPCDs with zeno executions or integer-checks can simulate the 2-counter MM. We conclude by retreating HPCDs as PAMs, to derive a simple over-approximating algorithm for reachability. This also defines a decidable subclass 1-dim Onto PAM (oPAM). The novel non-trivial transformation of 2-dim HPCDs into “almost decidable” systems, is likely to pave the way for approximate reachability algorithms, and the characterization of decidable subclasses. It is hoped that these ideas eventually coalesce into a complete understanding of the reachability problem for the class 2-dim HPCD (1-dim PAM).