A Toolkit for Proving Limitations of the Expressive Power of Logics

  • Nicole Schweikardt
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7464)


Zero-one laws, Ehrenfeucht-Fraïssé games, locality results, and logical reductions belong to the, by now, standard methods of Finite Model Theory, used for showing non-expressibility in certain logics (cf., e.g., the textbooks [1,2] or the entries in the Encyclopedia of Database Systems [3]).

More recently, the close connections between logic and circuits, along with strong lower bound results obtained in circuit complexity, have led to new lower bounds on the expressiveness of logics (cf., e.g., [4,5,6,7]). In particular, [4] solved a long standing open question of Finite Finite Model Theory, asking about the strictness of the bounded variable hierarchy of first-order logic on finite ordered graphs.


Expressive Power Logical Reduction Closure Property Circuit Complexity Tree Language 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicole Schweikardt
    • 1
  1. 1.Goethe-University FrankfurtFrankfurt am MainGermany

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