Tractable Unordered 3-CNF Games


The classic TQBF problem can be viewed as a game in which two players alternate turns assigning truth values to a CNF formula’s variables in a prescribed order, and the winner is determined by whether the CNF gets satisfied. The complexity of deciding which player has a winning strategy in this game is well-understood: it is NL-complete for 2-CNFs and PSPACE-complete for 3-CNFs. We continue the study of the unordered variant of this game, in which each turn consists of picking any remaining variable and assigning it a truth value. The complexity of deciding who can win on a given CNF is less well-understood; prior work by the authors showed it is in L for 2-CNFs and PSPACE-complete for 5-CNFs. We conjecture it may be efficiently solvable on 3-CNFs, and we make progress in this direction by proving the problem is in P, indeed in L, for 3-CNFs with a certain restriction, namely that each width-3 clause has at least one variable that appears in no other clause. Another (incomparable) restriction of this problem was previously shown to be tractable by Kutz.

Publication Title

Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)