Characterizing Positionality in Games of Infinite Duration over Infinite Graphs
We study turn-based quantitative games of infinite duration opposing two antagonistic players and played over graphs. This model is widely accepted as providing the adequate framework for formalizing the synthesis question for reactive systems. This important application motivates the question of strategy complexity: which valuations (or payoff functions) admit optimal positional strategies (without memory)? Valuations for which both players have optimal positional strategies have been characterized by Gimbert and Zielonka for finite graphs and by Colcombet and Niwi\'nski for infinite graphs. However, for reactive synthesis, existence of optimal positional strategies for the opponent (which models an antagonistic environment) is irrelevant. Despite this fact, not much is known about valuations for which the protagonist admits optimal positional strategies, regardless of the opponent. In this work, we characterize valuations which admit such strategies over infinite game graphs. Our characterization uses the vocabulary of universal graphs, which has also proved useful in understanding recent breakthrough results regarding the complexity of parity games. More precisely, we show that a valuation admitting universal graphs which are monotone and well-ordered is positional over all game graphs, and -- more surprisingly -- that the converse is also true for valuations admitting neutral colors. We prove the applicability and elegance of the framework by unifying a number of known positionality results, proving new ones, and establishing closure under lexicographical products. Finally, we discuss a class of prefix-independent positional objectives which is closed under countable unions.
January 31, 2023
Conditional Dichotomy of Boolean Ordered Promise CSPs
Promise Constraint Satisfaction Problems (PCSPs) are a generalization of Constraint Satisfaction Problems (CSPs) where each predicate has a strong and a weak form and given a CSP instance, the objective is to distinguish if the strong form can be satisfied vs. even the weak form cannot be satisfied. Since their formal introduction by Austrin, Guruswami, and H\aa stad, there has been a flurry of works on PCSPs [BBKO19,KO19,WZ20]. The key tool in studying PCSPs is the algebraic framework developed in the context of CSPs where the closure properties of the satisfying solutions known as the polymorphisms are analyzed. The polymorphisms of PCSPs are much richer than CSPs. In the Boolean case, we still do not know if dichotomy for PCSPs exists analogous to Schaefer's dichotomy result for CSPs. In this paper, we study a special case of Boolean PCSPs, namely Boolean Ordered PCSPs where the Boolean PCSPs have the predicate $x \leq y$. In the algebraic framework, this is the special case of Boolean PCSPs when the polymorphisms are monotone functions. We prove that Boolean Ordered PCSPs exhibit a computational dichotomy assuming the Rich 2-to-1 Conjecture [BKM21] which is a perfect completeness surrogate of the Unique Games Conjecture. Assuming the Rich 2-to-1 Conjecture, we prove that a Boolean Ordered PCSP can be solved in polynomial time if for every $\epsilon>0$, it has polymorphisms where each coordinate has Shapley value at most $\epsilon$, else it is NP-hard. The algorithmic part of our dichotomy is based on a structural lemma that Boolean monotone functions with each coordinate having low Shapley value have arbitrarily large threshold functions as minors. The hardness part proceeds by showing that the Shapley value is consistent under a uniformly random 2-to-1 minor. Of independent interest, we show that the Shapley value can be inconsistent under an adversarial 2-to-1 minor.
January 25, 2023