We clearly know that 2-QCNF is in $\mathsf{P}$. Since that, if I understand it right, it is possible to solve it with #SAT solver (because $\mathsf{P} \subseteq \mathsf{\#P}$). But how can we only knowing amount of positive assignments for some non-quantified formulae solve 2-QCNF? And why this doesn't hold (at least, assumed so) for general case of TQBF?


1 Answer 1


First of all, it is a bit misleading to say that $\mathsf{P} \subseteq \mathsf{\#P}$, since $\mathsf{P}$ is a class of decision problems, while $\mathsf{\#P}$ is a class of counting problems. However, we can think of a decision problem as a counting problem in which the answer is 0 (no) or 1 (yes), and in that sense it is certainly true that $\mathsf{P} \subseteq \mathsf{\#P}$.

The problem $\mathsf{\#SAT}$ is $\mathsf{\#P}$-complete. This means that for any problem $A \in \mathsf{\#P}$ there exists a polynomial time reduction $f$ such that for any instance $x$ of $A$, we have $$ A(x) = \mathsf{\#SAT}(f(x)), $$ where $A(x)$ is the value of the counting problem $A$ on instance $x$.

Since $\mathsf{2QCNF} \in \mathsf{P}$, there is a trivial reduction from $\mathsf{2QCNF}$ to $\mathsf{\#SAT}$: if the $\mathsf{2QSAT}$ is satisfiable, we output the formula $x$, and otherwise we output the formula $x \land \lnot x$. This reduction runs in polynomial time since $\mathsf{2QCNF} \in \mathsf{P}$.

  • $\begingroup$ But here we solve 2QSAT to convert it to #SAT? Why we even reduce it, if we already know the answer? I thought that's not how reduction works. $\endgroup$
    – rus9384
    Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ We can do whatever we want as long as we follow the rules. The reduction I describe satisfies all the requisite properties, so it's a valid reduction. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ As to why we reduce it, if we already know the answer - it's because you asked for such a reduction. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 21:09
  • $\begingroup$ But if we had $\mathsf{NL}^{\mathsf{\#P}}$ machine, that machine should be capable to solve 2QCNF (or not?) but such reduction is restricted. All I know that such machine can solve 2QCNF with zero-error probability, as well as $\mathsf{P}^{\mathsf{\#P}}$ machine can solve TQBF with zero-error probability. $\endgroup$
    – rus9384
    Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 22:09

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