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Succinct progress measures and solving parity games in quasi-polynomial time

Ranko Lazic ( University of Warwick )

The recent breakthrough paper by Calude et al. (a winner of STOC 2017 Best Paper Award) has given the first algorithm for solving parity games in quasi-polynomial time, where previously the best algorithms were mildly sub-exponential. We devise an alternative quasi-polynomial time algorithm based on progress measures, which allows us to reduce the space required from quasi-polynomial to nearly linear.  Our key technical tools are a novel concept of ordered tree coding, and a succinct tree coding result that we prove using bounded adaptive multi-counters, both of which are interesting in their own right.

Apart from presenting our technical work on succinct progress measures, I will survey the relevance of parity games to the theory and practice of computer-aided verification and synthesis, their surprising impact on broader theoretical computer science, the history of results and techniques used for solving parity games, and the recent advances in the state of the art.

This is joint work with Marcin Jurdzinski.

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