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Model and Objective Separation with Conditional Lower Bounds: Disjunction is Harder than Conjunction


Given a model of a system and an objective, the model-checking question asks whether the model satisfies the objective. We study polynomial-time problems in two classical models, graphs and Markov Decision Processes (MDPs), with respect to several fundamental ?-regular objectives, e.g., Rabin and Streett objectives. For many of these problems the best-known upper bounds are quadratic or cubic, yet no super-linear lower bounds are known. In this work our contributions are two-fold: First, we present several improved algorithms, and second, we present the first conditional super-linear lower bounds based on widely believed assumptions about the complexity of CNF-SAT and combinatorial Boolean matrix multiplication. A separation result for two models with respect to an objective means a conditional lower bound for one model that is strictly higher than the existing upper bound for the other model, and similarly for two objectives with respect to a model. Our results establish the following separation results: (1) A separation of models (graphs and MDPs) for disjunctive queries of reachability and B

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