|Source||ACM Digital Library|
|Publisher||Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)|
|Subject Domain (in DDC)||Computer science, information & general works ♦ Data processing & computer science|
|Subject Keyword||Finite model theory ♦ Conjunctive queries ♦ First-order logic ♦ Homomorphisms ♦ Preservation theorems ♦ Quantifier-rank ♦ Tree-depth|
|Abstract||The homomorphism preservation theorem (h.p.t.), a result in classical model theory, states that a first-order formula is preserved under homomorphisms on all structures (finite and infinite) if and only if it is equivalent to an existential-positive formula. Answering a long-standing question in finite model theory, we prove that the h.p.t. remains valid when restricted to finite structures (unlike many other classical preservation theorems, including the Łoś--Tarski theorem and Lyndon's positivity theorem). Applications of this result extend to constraint satisfaction problems and to database theory via a correspondence between existential-positive formulas and unions of conjunctive queries. A further result of this article strengthens the classical h.p.t.: we show that a first-order formula is preserved under homomorphisms on all structures if and only if it is equivalent to an existential-positive formula of equal quantifier-rank.|
|Age Range||18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year|
|Education Level||UG and PG|
|Learning Resource Type||Article|
|Publisher Place||New York|
|Journal||Journal of the ACM (JACM)|
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