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Relating Structure and Power: Comonadic Semantics for Computational Resources

Abstract : Combinatorial games are widely used in finite model theory, constraint satisfaction, modal logic and concurrency theory to characterize logical equivalences between structures. In particular, Ehrenfeucht-Fraïssé games, pebble games, and bisimulation games play a central role. We show how each of these types of games can be described in terms of an indexed family of comonads on the category of relational structures and homomorphisms. The index k is a resource parameter which bounds the degree of access to the underlying structure. The coKleisli categories for these comonads can be used to give syntax-free characterizations of a wide range of important logical equivalences. Moreover, the coalgebras for these indexed comonads can be used to characterize key combinatorial parameters: tree-depth for the Ehrenfeucht-Fraïssé comonad, tree-width for the pebbling comonad, and synchronization-tree depth for the modal unfolding comonad. These results pave the way for systematic connections between two major branches of the field of logic in computer science which hitherto have been almost disjoint: categorical semantics, and finite and algorithmic model theory.
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Samson Abramsky, Nihil Shah. Relating Structure and Power: Comonadic Semantics for Computational Resources. 14th International Workshop on Coalgebraic Methods in Computer Science (CMCS), Apr 2018, Thessaloniki, Greece. pp.1-5, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-00389-0_1⟩. ⟨hal-02044639⟩

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