© 1999

Descriptive Complexity


Part of the Graduate Texts in Computer Science book series (TCS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Neil Immerman
    Pages 1-3
  3. Neil Immerman
    Pages 5-22
  4. Neil Immerman
    Pages 23-43
  5. Neil Immerman
    Pages 45-55
  6. Neil Immerman
    Pages 57-66
  7. Neil Immerman
    Pages 67-89
  8. Neil Immerman
    Pages 91-112
  9. Neil Immerman
    Pages 113-124
  10. Neil Immerman
    Pages 125-137
  11. Neil Immerman
    Pages 139-155
  12. Neil Immerman
    Pages 157-168
  13. Neil Immerman
    Pages 169-180
  14. Neil Immerman
    Pages 181-202
  15. Neil Immerman
    Pages 203-219
  16. Neil Immerman
    Pages 221-240
  17. Neil Immerman
    Pages 241-250
  18. Back Matter
    Pages 251-268

About this book


A basic issue in computer science is the complexity of problems. Computational complexity measures how much time or memory is needed as a function of the input problem size. Descriptive complexity is concerned with problems which may be described in first-order logic. By virtue of the close relationship between logic and relational databses, it turns out that this subject has important applications to databases such as analysing the queries computable in polynomial time, analysing the parallel time needed to compute a query, and the analysis of nondeterministic classes. This book is written as a graduate text and so aims to provide a reasonably self-contained introduction to this subject. The author has provided numerous examples and exercises to further illustrate the ideas presented.


Arithmetic Counting Lemma Switch Variable complexity databases logic

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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