Lower Bounds for QBFs of Bounded Treewidth

2 Oct 2019  ·  Johannes Klaus Fichte, Markus Hecher, Andreas Pfandler ·

The problem of deciding the validity (QSAT) of quantified Boolean formulas (QBF) is a vivid research area in both theory and practice. In the field of parameterized algorithmics, the well-studied graph measure treewidth turned out to be a successful parameter... A well-known result by Chen in parameterized complexity is that QSAT when parameterized by the treewidth of the primal graph of the input formula together with the quantifier depth of the formula is fixed-parameter tractable. More precisely, the runtime of such an algorithm is polynomial in the formula size and exponential in the treewidth, where the exponential function in the treewidth is a tower, whose height is the quantifier depth. A natural question is whether one can significantly improve these results and decrease the tower while assuming the Exponential Time Hypothesis (ETH). In the last years, there has been a growing interest in the quest of establishing lower bounds under ETH, showing mostly problem-specific lower bounds up to the third level of the polynomial hierarchy. Still, an important question is to settle this as general as possible and to cover the whole polynomial hierarchy. In this work, we show lower bounds based on the ETH for arbitrary QBFs parameterized by treewidth (and quantifier depth). More formally, we establish lower bounds for QSAT and treewidth, namely, that under ETH there cannot be an algorithm that solves QSAT of quantifier depth i in runtime significantly better than i-fold exponential in the treewidth and polynomial in the input size. In doing so, we provide a versatile reduction technique to compress treewidth that encodes the essence of dynamic programming on arbitrary tree decompositions. Further, we describe a general methodology for a more fine-grained analysis of problems parameterized by treewidth that are at higher levels of the polynomial hierarchy. read more

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