Arnold Beckmann and Sam Buss
In: Ways of Proof Theory, ed. R. Schindler, Ontos Series on Mathematical Logic, pp. 65-134, 2010.
Publication year: 2010

The complexity class of Π^p_k – Polynomial Local Search (PLS) problems with Π^p_l – goal is introduced, and is used to give new characterisations of definable search problems in fragments of Bounded Arithmetic. The characterisations are established via notations for propositional proofs obtained by translating Bounded Arithmetic proofs using the Paris-Wilkie-translation. For l ≤ i ≤ k , the Σ bi – definable search problems of T^k+1_2 are exactly characterised by Π^p_k – PLS problems with Π^p_l – goals. These Π^p_k – PLS problems can be defined in a weak base theory such as S^1_2 , and proved to be total in T^k+1_2 . Furthermore, the Π^p_k – PLS definitions can be Skolemised with simple polynomial time functions. The Skolemised Π^p_k – PLS definitions give rise to a new ∀Σ^b_1(α) – principle conjectured to separate T^k_2(α) and T^k+1_2(α).