A Logical Characterisation of Linear Time on Nondeterministic Turing Machines
The paper gives a logical characterisation of the class NTIME(n) of problems that can be solved on a nondeterministic Turing machine in linear time. It is shown that a set L of strings is in this class if and only if there is a formula of the form ∃f1··∃fk∃R1··∃Rm∀xϕ that is true exactly for all strings in L. In this formula the fi are unary function symbols, the Ri are unary relation symbols and ϕ is a quantifier-free formula. Furthermore, the quantification of functions is restricted to non-crossing, decreasing functions and in ϕ no equations in which different functions occur are allowed. There are a number of variations of this statement, e.g., it holds also for k = 3. From these results we derive an Ehrenfeucht game characterisation of NTIME(n).
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