Characterizing Omega-Regularity through Finite-Memory Determinacy of Games on Infinite Graphs

by   Patricia Bouyer, et al.

We consider zero-sum games on infinite graphs, with objectives specified as sets of infinite words over some alphabet of colors. A well-studied class of objectives is the one of ω-regular objectives, due to its relation to many natural problems in theoretical computer science. We focus on the strategy complexity question: given an objective, how much memory does each player require to play as well as possible? A classical result is that finite-memory strategies suffice for both players when the objective is ω-regular. We show a reciprocal of that statement: when both players can play optimally with a chromatic finite-memory structure (i.e., whose updates can only observe colors) in all infinite game graphs, then the objective must be ω-regular. This provides a game-theoretic characterization of ω-regular objectives, and this characterization can help in obtaining memory bounds. Moreover, a by-product of our characterization is a new one-to-two-player lift: to show that chromatic finite-memory structures suffice to play optimally in two-player games on infinite graphs, it suffices to show it in the simpler case of one-player games on infinite graphs. We illustrate our results with the family of discounted-sum objectives, for which ω-regularity depends on the value of some parameters.


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