Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On-the-fly Construct Büchi Automata for LTL formulae

The previous post introduced the declarative construction, which is exponential. For instance, the LGBA for $p \mathbf{U} q$ has 8 states. However, on-the-fly construction can build Büchi automata for linear size. Surely, distinct automata can express the same language (further, the LTL formula).

Negative Normal Form

First we write LTL formulas into their NNF equivalence, which is composed by $\vee, \wedge, \mathbf{X}, \mathbf{U}, \mathbf{R}$ only. Negations are pushed down to literals. Here we quote some rules,

  • $\neg \mathbf{X} \phi \Rightarrow \mathbf{X} \neg \phi$
  • $\neg ( \phi \mathbf{U} \psi ) \Rightarrow (\neg \phi \mathbf{R} \neg \psi) $
  • $\neg ( \phi \mathbf{R} \psi ) \Rightarrow (\neg \phi \mathbf{U} \neg \psi) $

Tableaux Expansion

  • $\phi \mathbf{U} \psi \Rightarrow \psi \vee (\phi \wedge \mathbf{X}(\phi \mathbf{U} \psi)) $
  • $\phi \mathbf{R} \psi \Rightarrow \psi \wedge (\phi \vee \mathbf{X}(\phi \mathbf{R} \psi)) $

Disjunctive Normal Form

With all formulas converted to the following form, each disjunct is a state.

$$\bigvee_i \bigg( \bigwedge_j I_{ij} \wedge \bigwedge_k \mathbf{X}\psi_{ik} \bigg)$$

Note $\bigwedge_j I_{ij}$ represents the labels, and $\bigwedge_k \mathbf{X}\psi_{ik}$ shows the transition. When the $\mathbf{X}$-formula is not present, we write $\mathbf{X} \top$.


A cover of a set of LTL formulas $\Psi= \{ \psi_1, \ldots, \psi_k \}$ calculates the set of initial states of Büchi automaton that represents $\bigwedge_i \psi_i$. A state is denoted as $\langle \lambda, \chi, \sigma \rangle$, which are the set of labels, the next formula, the set of subformulas of satisfied in $s$.

$$\mathsf{Cover}(\Psi) := \mathsf{Expand}(\Psi, \langle \emptyset, \emptyset, \emptyset \rangle)$$


We quote its definition. Assume $s=\langle \lambda, \chi, \sigma \rangle$, $l$ is a propositional literal, $\mathsf{Expand}(\Psi, s)=$

\begin{align*} \begin{cases} s & \Psi = \emptyset \\ \emptyset & \bot \in \Psi \\ \mathsf{Expand}(\Psi \backslash \top , s) & \top \in \Psi \\ \mathsf{Expand}(\Psi \backslash \{l\}, \langle \lambda \cup \{l\}, \chi, \sigma \cup \{l\} \rangle) & l \in \Psi \\ \mathsf{Expand}(\Psi \backslash \{\mathbf{X}\psi\}, \langle \lambda , \chi \cup \{ \psi \}, \sigma \cup \{\mathbf{X}\psi\} \rangle) & \mathbf{X}\psi \in \Psi \\ \mathsf{Expand}(\Psi \cup \{\psi_1, \psi_2\} \backslash \{\psi_1 \wedge \psi_2\}, \\ \quad \quad \quad \langle \lambda, \chi, \sigma \cup \{\psi_1 \wedge \psi_2\} \rangle) & \psi_1 \wedge \psi_2 \in \Psi \\ \mathsf{Expand}(\Psi \cup \{\psi_1\} \backslash \{\psi_1 \vee \psi_2\}, \\ \quad \quad \quad \langle \lambda, \chi, \sigma \cup \{\psi_1 \vee \psi_2\} \rangle) \cup \\ \mathsf{Expand}(\Psi \cup \{\psi_2\} \backslash \{\psi_1 \vee \psi_2\}, \\ \quad \quad \quad \langle \lambda, \chi, \sigma \cup \{\psi_1 \vee \psi_2\} \rangle) & \psi_1 \vee \psi_2 \in \Psi \\ \mathsf{Expand}(\Psi \cup \{\psi_1\} \backslash \{\psi_1 \mathbf{U} \psi_2\}, \\ \quad \quad \quad \langle \lambda, \chi \cup \{\psi_1 \mathbf{U} \psi_2\}, \sigma \cup \{\psi_1 \mathbf{U} \psi_2\} \rangle) \cup \\ \mathsf{Expand}(\Psi \cup \{\psi_2\} \backslash \{\psi_1 \mathbf{U} \psi_2\}, \\ \quad \quad \quad \langle \lambda, \chi, \sigma \cup \{\psi_1 \mathbf{U} \psi_2\} \rangle) & \psi_1 \mathbf{U} \psi_2 \in \Psi \\ \mathsf{Expand}(\Psi \cup \{\psi_2\} \backslash \{\psi_1 \mathbf{R} \psi_2\}, \\ \quad \quad \quad \langle \lambda, \chi \cup \{\psi_1 \mathbf{R} \psi_2\}, \sigma \cup \{\psi_1 \mathbf{U} \psi_2\} \rangle) \cup \\ \mathsf{Expand}(\Psi \cup \{\psi_1, \psi_2\} \backslash \{\psi_1 \mathbf{R} \psi_2\}, \\ \quad \quad \quad \langle \lambda, \chi, \sigma \cup \{\psi_1 \mathbf{R} \psi_2\} \rangle) & \psi_1 \mathbf{R} \psi_2 \in \Psi \end{cases} \end{align*}

Construct $A_\phi$

With the above operations defined, we construct the Büchi Automaton for an LTL formula. $A_\phi = (Q, Q_0 , \Sigma, L, T , FT)$, with $Q_0 = \mathsf{Cover}(\{\phi\})$, $Q$ is the smallest set such that $Q_0 \subseteq Q$, also if $\langle \lambda, \chi, \sigma \rangle \in Q$, then $\mathsf{Cover}(\{\chi\}) \in Q$, the labeling function $L(s) = \{a \in \Sigma | a \models \lambda \}$, transition relation $T = \{(s,s') | s = \langle \lambda, \chi, \sigma \rangle \wedge s' \in \mathsf{Cover}(\{\chi\}) \}$, the fairness conditions $FT = \{F_1, \ldots, F_n\}$, where $F_i = \{s \in Q | \phi_i \mathbf{U} \psi_i \notin \sigma \vee \psi_i \in \sigma \}$.


Here we present the Büchi Automata built from the stated method.

Fig 1. NBA of $\mathbf{FG}p$

Fig 2. NBA of $p \mathbf{U} q$


  1. R. Sebastiani, Automata-theoretic LTL Model Checking, slides on Formal Methods, 2012
  2. Wikipedia, Linear temporal logic to Buchi Automaton, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_temporal_logic_to_Büchi_automaton


The following is a copy of original copyright notice of slides which this article is quoting.

Copyright notice: some material (text, figures) displayed in these slides is courtesy of M. Benerecetti, A. Cimatti, P. Pandya, M. Pistore, M. Roveri, and S.Tonetta, who detain its copyright. Some exampes displayed in these slides are taken from [Clarke, Grunberg & Peled, “Model Checking”, MIT Press], and their copyright is detained by the authors. All the other material is copyrighted by Roberto Sebastiani. Every commercial use of this material is strictly forbidden by the copyright laws without the authorization of the authors. No copy of these slides can be displayed in public without containing this copyright notice.

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