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Generalized Absorptive Polynomials and Provenance Semantics for Fixed-Point Logic

by   Katrin M. Dannert, et al.

Semiring provenance is a successful approach to provide detailed information on the combinations of atomic facts that are responsible for the result of a query. In particular, interpretations in general provenance semirings of polynomials or formal power series give precise descriptions of the successful evaluation strategies for the query. While provenance analysis in databases has, for a long time, been largely confined to negation-free query languages, a recent approach extends this to model checking problems for logics with full negation. Algebraically this relies on new quotient semirings of dual-indeterminate polynomials or power series. So far, this approach has been developed mainly for first-order logic and for the positive fragment of least fixed-point logic. What has remained open is an adequate treatment for fixed-point calculi that admit arbitrary interleavings of least and greatest fixed points. We show that an adequate framework for the provenance analysis of full fixed-point logics is provided by semirings that are (1) fully continuous, (2) absorptive, and (3) chain-positive. Full continuity guarantees that provenance values of least and greatest fixed-points are well-defined. Absorptive semirings provide a symmetry between least and greatest fixed-point computations and make sure that provenance values of greatest fixed points are informative. Finally, chain-positivity is responsible for having truth-preserving interpretations, which give non-zero values to all true formulae. We further identify semirings of generalized absorptive polynomials and prove universality properties that make them the most general appropriate semirings for LFP. We illustrate the power of provenance interpretations in these semirings by relating them to provenance values of plays and strategies in the associated model-checking games.


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