I was reading up on Ehrenfeucht-Fraïssé and came by this example at http://www.math.cornell.edu/~mec/Summer2009/Raluca/lesson3.html

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Shouldn't there be a line between b4 and b2 (or b3 and b1), otherwise I don't see how the duplicator has a winning strategy in 3 rounds. Is this a mistake or ami I missing something?

thank you.


1 Answer 1


Spoiler wins the $3$-move EF game by picking $a_1$, $a_2$, $a_3$ in any order. You can confirm this by observing that there is a formula of quantifier rank at most $3$ that is satisfied by $A$ but not by $B$, namely:

$$ \exists x\exists y\exists z \ .\ x\neq y \wedge y \neq z \wedge z \neq x \wedge r(x, y) \wedge r (y, z) \wedge r(z, x) $$

where $r$ is the adjacency relation. Since $A$ has $3$ vertices and $B$ has $4$, Spoiler will also win any $k$-move game for $k\ge 4$, probably the question meant to ask about the $2$ and $3$-move games respectively, instead.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ But spoiler also wins the 2-round game by picking $b_1$ and $b_3$, in any order. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 0:56

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