Semantics, Logics, and Calculi

Volume 9560 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 159-177


Static Analysis of Parity Games: Alternating Reachability Under Parity

  • Michael HuthAffiliated withDepartment of Computing, Imperial College London Email author 
  • , Jim Huan-Pu KuoAffiliated withDepartment of Computing, Imperial College London
  • , Nir PitermanAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, University of Leicester

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It is well understood that solving parity games is equivalent, up to polynomial time, to model checking of the modal mu-calculus. It is a long-standing open problem whether solving parity games (or model checking modal mu-calculus formulas) can be done in polynomial time. A recent approach to studying this problem has been the design of partial solvers, algorithms that run in polynomial time and that may only solve parts of a parity game. Although it was shown that such partial solvers can completely solve many practical benchmarks, the design of such partial solvers was somewhat ad hoc, limiting a deeper understanding of the potential of that approach. We here mean to provide such robust foundations for deeper analysis through a new form of game, alternating reachability under parity. We prove the determinacy of these games and use this determinacy to define, for each player, a monotone fixed point over an ordered domain of height linear in the size of the parity game such that all nodes in its greatest fixed point are won by said player in the parity game. We show, through theoretical and experimental work, that such greatest fixed points and their computation leads to partial solvers that run in polynomial time. These partial solvers are based on established principles of static analysis and are more effective than partial solvers studied in extant work.