On Minimum Representations of Matched Formulas

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Abstract

A Boolean formula in conjunctive normal form (CNF) is called matched if the system of sets of variables which appear in individual clauses has a system of distinct representatives. Each matched CNF is trivially satisfiable (each clause can be satisfied by its representative variable). Another property which is easy to see, is that the class of matched CNFs is not closed under partial assignment of truth values to variables. This latter property leads to a fact (proved here) that given two matched CNFs it is co-NP complete to decide whether they are logically equivalent. The construction in this proof leads to another result: a much shorter and simpler proof of the fact that the Boolean minimization problem for matched CNFs is a complete problem for the second level of the polynomial hierarchy. The main result of this paper deals with the structure of clause minimum CNFs. We prove here that if a Boolean function f admits a representation by a matched CNF then every clause minimum CNF representation of f is matched.

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