Generating hard tautologies using predicate logic and the symmetric group

S Riis
2000 Logic Journal of the IGPL  
We introduce methods to generate uniform families of hard propositional tautologies. The tautologies are essentially generated from a single propositional formula by a natural action of the symmetric group S n . The basic idea is that any Second Order Existential sentence Ψ can be systematically translated into a conjunction φ of a finite collection of clauses such that the models of size n of an appropriate Skolemization Ψ are in one-to-one correspondence with the satisfying assignments to φ n
more » ... : the S n -closure of φ, under a natural action of the symmetric group S n . Each φ n is a CNF and thus has depth at most 2. The size of the φ n 's is bounded by a polynomial in n. Under the assumption NEXPTIME = co-NEXPTIME, for any such sequence φ n for which the spectrum S := {n : φ n satisfiable} is NEXPTIME-complete, the tautologies ¬φ n ∈S do not have polynomial length proofs in any propositional proof system. Our translation method shows that most sequences of tautologies being studied in propositional proof complexity can be systematically generated from Second Order Existential sentences
doi:10.1093/jigpal/8.6.787 fatcat:hm3bldzb7ngwvly6ogmg56c7p4