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Algebras of partial functions

McLean, Brett; (2018) Algebras of partial functions. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis collects together four sets of results, produced by investigating modifications, in four distinct directions, of the following. Some set-theoretic operations on partial functions are chosen—composition and intersection are examples—and the class of algebras isomorphic to a collection of partial functions, equipped with those operations, is studied. Typical questions asked are whether the class is axiomatisable, or indeed finitely axiomatisable, in any fragment of first-order logic, what computational complexity classes its equational/quasiequational/first-order theories lie in, and whether it is decidable if a finite algebra is in the class. The first modification to the basic picture asks that the isomorphisms turn any existing suprema into unions and/or infima into intersections, and examines the class so obtained. For composition, intersection, and antidomain together, we show that the suprema and infima conditions are equivalent. We show the resulting class is axiomatisable by a universal-existential-universal sentence, but not axiomatisable by any existential-universal-existential theory. The second contribution concerns what happens when we demand partial functions on some finite base set. The finite representation property is essentially the assertion that this restriction that the base set be finite does not restrict the algebras themselves. For composition, intersection, domain, and range, plus many supersignatures, we prove the finite representation property. It follows that it is decidable whether a finite algebra is a member of the relevant class. The third set of results generalises from unary to ‘multiplace’ functions. For the signatures investigated, finite equational or quasiequational axiomatisations are obtained; similarly when the functions are constrained to be injective. The finite representation property follows. The equational theories are shown to be coNP-complete. In the last section we consider operations that may only be partial. For most signatures the relevant class is found to be recursively, but not finitely, axiomatisable. For others, finite axiomatisations are provided.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Algebras of partial functions
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051056
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