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δ-Decidability over the Reals

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journal contribution
posted on 01.04.2012, 00:00 authored by Sicun Gao, Jeremy AvigadJeremy Avigad, Edmund M Clarke

Given any collection F of computable functions over the reals, we show that there exists an algorithm that, given any sentence A containing only bounded quantifiers and functions in F, and any positive rational number delta, decides either “A is true”, or “a delta-strengthening of A is false”. Moreover, if F can be computed in complexity class C, then under mild assumptions, this “delta-decision problem” for bounded Sigma k-sentences resides in Sigma k(C). The results stand in sharp contrast to the well-known undecidability of the general first-order theories with these functions, and serve as a theoretical basis for the use of numerical methods in decision procedures for formulas over the reals.

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01/04/2012

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