A robust class of context-sensitive languages

Salvatore La Torre, P. Madhusudan, Gennaro Parlato

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We define a new class of languages defined by multi-stack automata that forms a robust subclass of context-sensitive languages, with decidable emptiness and closure under boolean operations. This class, called multi-stack visibly pushdown languages (MVPLs), is defined using multi-stack pushdown automata with two restrictions: (a) the pushdown automaton is visible, i.e. the input letter determines the operation on the stacks, and (b) any computation of the machine can be split into k stages, where in each stage, there is at most one stack that is popped. MVPLs are an extension of visibly pushdown languages that captures non-context free behaviors, and has applications in analyzing abstractions of multithreaded recursive programs, significantly enlarging the search space that can be explored for them. We show that MVPLs are closed under boolean operations, and problems such as emptiness and inclusion are decidable. We characterize MVPLs using monadic second-order logic over appropriate structures, and exhibit a Parikh theorem for them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 22nd Annual IEEE Symposiumon Logic in Computer Science, LICS 2007
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2007
Event22nd Annual IEEE Symposium on Logic in Computer Science, LICS 2007 - Wroclaw, Poland
Duration: Jul 10 2007Jul 14 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings - Symposium on Logic in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)1043-6871


Other22nd Annual IEEE Symposium on Logic in Computer Science, LICS 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • General Mathematics


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