2023

We consider zero-sum games on infinite graphs, with objectives specified as sets of infinite words over some alphabet of colors. A well-studied class of objectives is the one of $\omega$-regular objectives, due to its relation to many natural problems in theoretical computer science. We focus on the strategy complexity question: given an objective, how much memory does each player require to play as well as possible? A classical result is that finite-memory strategies suffice for both players when the objective is $\omega$-regular. We show a reciprocal of that statement: when both players can play optimally with a chromatic finite-memory structure (i.e., whose updates can only observe colors) in all infinite game graphs, then the objective must be $\omega$-regular. This provides a game-theoretic characterization of $\omega$-regular objectives, and this characterization can help in obtaining memory bounds. Moreover, a by-product of our characterization is a new one-to-two-player lift: to show that chromatic finite-memory structures suffice to play optimally in two-player games on infinite graphs, it suffices to show it in the simpler case of one-player games on infinite graphs. We illustrate our results with the family of discounted-sum objectives, for which $\omega$-regularity depends on the value of some parameters.

Promise Constraint Satisfaction Problems (PCSPs) are a generalization of Constraint Satisfaction Problems (CSPs) where each predicate has a strong and a weak form and given a CSP instance, the objective is to distinguish if the strong form can be satisfied vs. even the weak form cannot be satisfied. Since their formal introduction by Austrin, Guruswami, and H\aa stad, there has been a flurry of works on PCSPs [BBKO19,KO19,WZ20]. The key tool in studying PCSPs is the algebraic framework developed in the context of CSPs where the closure properties of the satisfying solutions known as the polymorphisms are analyzed. The polymorphisms of PCSPs are much richer than CSPs. In the Boolean case, we still do not know if dichotomy for PCSPs exists analogous to Schaefer's dichotomy result for CSPs. In this paper, we study a special case of Boolean PCSPs, namely Boolean Ordered PCSPs where the Boolean PCSPs have the predicate $x \leq y$. In the algebraic framework, this is the special case of Boolean PCSPs when the polymorphisms are monotone functions. We prove that Boolean Ordered PCSPs exhibit a computational dichotomy assuming the Rich 2-to-1 Conjecture [BKM21] which is a perfect completeness surrogate of the Unique Games Conjecture. Assuming the Rich 2-to-1 Conjecture, we prove that a Boolean Ordered PCSP can be solved in polynomial time if for every $\epsilon>0$, it has polymorphisms where each coordinate has Shapley value at most $\epsilon$, else it is NP-hard. The […]

We study turn-based quantitative games of infinite duration opposing two antagonistic players and played over graphs. This model is widely accepted as providing the adequate framework for formalizing the synthesis question for reactive systems. This important application motivates the question of strategy complexity: which valuations (or payoff functions) admit optimal positional strategies (without memory)? Valuations for which both players have optimal positional strategies have been characterized by Gimbert and Zielonka for finite graphs and by Colcombet and Niwi\'nski for infinite graphs. However, for reactive synthesis, existence of optimal positional strategies for the opponent (which models an antagonistic environment) is irrelevant. Despite this fact, not much is known about valuations for which the protagonist admits optimal positional strategies, regardless of the opponent. In this work, we characterize valuations which admit such strategies over infinite game graphs. Our characterization uses the vocabulary of universal graphs, which has also proved useful in understanding recent breakthrough results regarding the complexity of parity games. More precisely, we show that a valuation admitting universal graphs which are monotone and well-ordered is positional over all game graphs, and -- more surprisingly -- that the converse is also true for valuations admitting neutral colors. We prove the applicability and elegance of the framework by unifying a number of known […]

We consider fixpoint algorithms for two-player games on graphs with $\omega$-regular winning conditions, where the environment is constrained by a strong transition fairness assumption. Strong transition fairness is a widely occurring special case of strong fairness, which requires that any execution is strongly fair with respect to a specified set of live edges: whenever the source vertex of a live edge is visited infinitely often along a play, the edge itself is traversed infinitely often along the play as well. We show that, surprisingly, strong transition fairness retains the algorithmic characteristics of the fixpoint algorithms for $\omega$-regular games -- the new algorithms have the same alternation depth as the classical algorithms but invoke a new type of predecessor operator. For Rabin games with $k$ pairs, the complexity of the new algorithm is $O(n^{k+2}k!)$ symbolic steps, which is independent of the number of live edges in the strong transition fairness assumption. Further, we show that GR(1) specifications with strong transition fairness assumptions can be solved with a 3-nested fixpoint algorithm, same as the usual algorithm. In contrast, strong fairness necessarily requires increasing the alternation depth depending on the number of fairness assumptions. We get symbolic algorithms for (generalized) Rabin, parity and GR(1) objectives under strong transition fairness assumptions as well as a direct symbolic algorithm for qualitative winning in […]

Hegedűs's lemma is the following combinatorial statement regarding polynomials over finite fields. Over a field $\mathbb{F}$ of characteristic $p > 0$ and for $q$ a power of $p$, the lemma says that any multilinear polynomial $P\in \mathbb{F}[x_1,\ldots,x_n]$ of degree less than $q$ that vanishes at all points in $\{0,1\}^n$ of some fixed Hamming weight $k\in [q,n-q]$ must also vanish at all points in $\{0,1\}^n$ of weight $k + q$. This lemma was used by Hegedűs (2009) to give a solution to \emph{Galvin's problem}, an extremal problem about set systems; by Alon, Kumar and Volk (2018) to improve the best-known multilinear circuit lower bounds; and by Hrubeš, Ramamoorthy, Rao and Yehudayoff (2019) to prove optimal lower bounds against depth-$2$ threshold circuits for computing some symmetric functions. In this paper, we formulate a robust version of Hegedűs's lemma. Informally, this version says that if a polynomial of degree $o(q)$ vanishes at most points of weight $k$, then it vanishes at many points of weight $k+q$. We prove this lemma and give three different applications.