Overview of the DIMACS Special Year on Logic and Algorithms
See Calendar of Special Year events for
scheduled dates and hot links to complete calendar information.
A dichotomy in theoretical computer science is best demonstrated by
looking at the 1994 Handbook of Theoretical Computer Science. Volume A
discusses algorithms and complexity, while Volume B treats formal models
and semantics. Theoretical computer science in the United States is
largely "Vol. A"-ish, while European theoretical computer science is
largely "Vol. B"-ish. The goal of this Special Year is to bridge the gap
between the two branches, focusing on three bridge areas: Computer-Aided
Verification, Finite-Model Theory, and Proof Complexity. All three are
emerging research areas that fit naturally between Vol. A and Vol. B.
Below is a brief description of each topic, and a list of
workshops associated with that topic. We also plan a series of week-long
tutorials, one in each topic, intended to introduce students, recent
graduates, and professionals from other areas to the topic.
Computer-Aided Verification studies algorithms and structures for
verifying properties of programs. It draws upon techniques from graph
theory, combinatorics, automata theory, complexity theory, Boolean
functions and algebras, logic, Ramsey theory and linear programming.
Since the DIMACS CAV workshop in 1990, worldwide interest in CAV has
grown enormously, not only in academia but in companies like Intel, DEC, SGI,
Motorola, Sun and AT&T. This creates an unusual and rewarding opportunity
to see theory put directly into practice.
We plan workshops in "Verification and control of hybrid systems,"
"Partial Order Methods in Verification (POMIV)" and in
"Computational and complexity issues in automated verification".
Model theory is the study of mathematical structures which satisfy
sets of axioms. Recent work on the finite
models of a set of axioms has
yielded elegant connections with theoretical computer science, including
model-theoretic characterizations of complexity classes. Further, when a
class of finite mathematical structures (e.g. graphs) is equipped with
probability measures, one can often develop powerful meta-theorems called
zero-one laws, which give conditions under which probabilities must
approach zero or one as the structure size goes to infinity.
We plan workshops in "Finite models and descriptive complexity" and in
"Logic and random structures".
Two related notions of "proof complexity" currently motivate research
at the interface between computer science and logic. One notion centers
on the length of a proof, and the other on the complexity of the inference
steps within the proof.
It is well known that NP=co-NP iff all propositional tautologies have
short proofs. But the connection between proof length and complexity
theory goes much deeper. Lower bounds on circuits are closely tied to
those on proof length in restricted systems, and advances on one front
often lead quickly to progress on the other.
By restricting the complexity of inference steps within a proof, one
obtains a fragment of Peano Arithmetic called Bounded Arithmetic, which
defines exactly the predicates in the polynomial hierarchy. Exciting
recent work has shown that if certain theories of bounded arithmetic can
prove lower bounds in complexity theory, then corresponding cryptographic
systems cannot be secure.
We plan a single, four-day workshop on "Feasible arithmetic and
lengths of proofs".
Additional workshops are planned and under consideration.
A workshop on the "Satisfiability Problem: Theory and Applications"
examines the strong relationship between the theory,
algorithms, and the applications of the SAT problem.
he main focus of this workshop is to bring
together the best theorists, algorithmists, and practitioners working on
the SAT problem and on the
industrial applications involving the SAT problem, enhancing the
interaction between the three research groups.
As an important activity of the workshop, a set of SAT problem benchmarks derived
from the practical
industrial engineering applications will be provided for SAT
Summer School on Applied Logic
The Summer School
is intended to expose industry, graduate students, postdocs, and
experienced researchers from other fields to the three focus areas
of the Special Year --- Finite-Model Theory, Proof Complexity, and
It will consist of three consecutive one week tutorials.
The courses will provide students with
a deep understanding of these research areas and will point out
connections with applications.
DIMACS and AT&T Bell Labs will have five postdoctoral fellows
for 1995-96. They are:
- Jeremy Avigad, Proof Theory, Strength of Formal Systems
- Orna Bernholtz Kupferman, Computer Aided Verification, (at Bell Labs)
- Maria-Luisa Bonet, Proof Theory, Complexity of Propositional Proofs
- Kousha Etessami, Finite Model Theory, Descriptive Complexity
- Thomas Wilke, Computer-Aided Verification, Timed Automata
Distinguished Lecturer Series
The special year will sponsor a series of five distinguished lecturer
talks. The speakers are:
- Ed Clarke, Carnegie Mellon University
- Steve Cook, University of Toronto
- Ronald Fagin, IBM Almaden
- Neil Immerman, University of Massachusetts
- Vaughn Pratt, Stanford University
- Joel Spencer, New York University
- Alexander Razborov, Steklov Mathematical Institute
As usual, this DIMACS Special Year aims to be inclusive, not exclusive.
Many other areas, beyond the organizers' ken, would mesh with these themes.
This fourth, "catch-all" topic is intended to encourage all scientists
who might benefit from interaction with logicians, combinatorialists and
computer scientists, and with the topics we HAVE listed.
Federated Logic Conference
As part of this Special year, DIMACS will host a Federated Logic
Conference (FLC). FLC will be modeled after the successful Federated
Computer Research Conference (FCRC). The goal is to battle fragmentation
of the technical community by bringing together synergetic conferences
that apply logic to computer science. The following conferences will
participate in FLC: CADE (Conference on Automated Deduction), CAV
(Conference on Computer-Aided Verification), LICS (IEEE Symp. on Logic in
Computer Science), and RTA (Conference on Rewriting Techniques and
Applications). The four conferences will span eight days, with only
two-way parallelism at any given time. We will make special efforts to
bring about interaction between the various conferences. The meeting will
take place in late July, 1996, on one of the Rutgers campuses.
For Further Information
Special Year Organizing Committee:
- Eric Allender, Rutgers U. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bob Kurshan, AT&T Bell Labs email@example.com
- Moshe Vardi, Rice U. firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Year Publicity Chair:
Special Year Steering Committee:
- Paul Beame, U. Washington email@example.com
- Sam Buss, U. California, San Diego firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gregory Cherlin, Rutgers U.
- Ed Clarke, Carnegie Mellon U. Edmund_Clarke@cs.cmu.edu
- Steve Cook, U. Toronto email@example.com
- Allen Emerson, U. Texas firstname.lastname@example.org
- Joan Feigenbaum, AT&T Bell Labs email@example.com
- Orna Grumberg, Technion firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phokion Kolaitis, U. California, Santa Cruz email@example.com
- Daniel Leivant, Indiana U. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Richard Lipton, Princeton U. email@example.com
- Amir Pnueli, Weizmann Institute firstname.lastname@example.org
- Peter Winkler, AT&T Bell Labs email@example.com
Special Year Industrial Advisory Board
- Hao Nham (AT&T QUEST)
- Paul Loewenstein (Sun)
- Carl Pixley (Motorola)
- Zeev Shtadler (Intel)
- Kurt Keutzer (Synopsys)
Index of Special Year on Logic and Algorithms
Contacting the Center
Document last modified on October 19, 1998.