Automata-I-arXiv.pdf (471.18 kB)
Tree automata and pigeonhole classes of matroids -- I
journal contributionposted on 2021-12-01, 19:46 authored by Daryl Funk, Dillon Mayhew, Mike Newman
Hlineny's Theorem shows that any sentence in the monadic second-order logic of matroids can be tested in polynomial time, when the input is limited to a class of F-representable matroids with bounded branch-width (where F is a finite field). If each matroid in a class can be decomposed by a subcubic tree in such a way that only a bounded amount of information flows across displayed separations, then the class has bounded decomposition-width. We introduce the pigeonhole property for classes of matroids: if every subclass with bounded branch-width also has bounded decomposition-width, then the class is pigeonhole. An efficiently pigeonhole class has a stronger property, involving an efficiently-computable equivalence relation on subsets of the ground set. We show that Hlineny's Theorem extends to any efficiently pigeonhole class. In a sequel paper, we use these ideas to extend Hlineny's Theorem to the classes of fundamental transversal matroids, lattice path matroids, bicircular matroids, and H-gain-graphic matroids, where H is any finite group. We also give a characterisation of the families of hypergraphs that can be described via tree automata: a family is defined by a tree automaton if and only if it has bounded decomposition-width. Furthermore, we show that if a class of matroids has the pigeonhole property, and can be defined in monadic second-order logic, then any subclass with bounded branch-width has a decidable monadic second-order theory.