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AIGER format for Quantified Boolean Formulas


This document defines the QAIGER format to represent quantified Boolean formulas (QBF) and their certificates based on the popular AIGER format. AIGER is a simple circuit format that comes with substantial tool support (AIGER tools, ABC). It is already used to represent systems and problems in the Hardware Model Checking Competition (HWMCC) and the Reactive Synthesis Competition (SyntComp).

The QAIGER format consists of two parts. First we define how QBFs are represented and then we define how certificates (i.e. proofs of correctness for results of QBF solvers) are represented.

Input Format

QAIGER input format defines QBFs in prenex form, i.e. it represents formulas that start with a quantifier prefix followed by a propositional (i.e. quantifier-free) part. For example consider this QBF in prenex form: ∀ x ∃ y. x y

Throughout this section we use this example formua to discuss the QAIGER input format.

Variables of the QBF are represented as the inputs of the AIGER circuit. All inputs must be given a quantifier level in the symbol table followed by space character and a unique name. Quantifier levels are numbers from 0 to INT_MAX (i.e. 2147483647), where even numbers represent existential quantifiers and odd numbers represent universal quantifiers. Quantifiers with higher numbers are in the scope of quantifiers with lower numbers. In particular, variables with quantifier level 0 are constants.

QAIGER circuits have a single output that indicates if the formula is true or false for the given variable assignment (i.e. the inputs).

That is, for now we restrict QAIGER to the original AIGER format, without the extensions discussed for AIGER 1.9. This is because an important tool for minimizing circuits, the ABC model checker, still has only limited support for the new AIGER format.

Here is an example encoding of our running example:

aag 5 2 0 1 3                 header introducing 5 signals, 2 inputs, 0 latches, 1 output, 3 gates
2                             first input, universal variable x
4                             second input, existential variable y
10                            defines output as signal 10
6 2 5                         defines signal 6 as x & !y
8 3 4                         defines signal 8 as !x & y
10 7 9                        defines signal 10 as !6 & !8
i0 1 x                        defines variable x to be on quantifier level 1
i1 2 y                        defines variable y to be on quantifier level 2
c                             a comment in the AIGER format
forall x, exists y, x <-> y


Some QBF solvers (e.g. DepQBF, CAQE, and CADET) do not only provide a yes/no answer but also provide a proof (in the form of a Skolem function or Herbrand function) for their result. These proofs are typically also represented as AIGER circuits, but different tools have subtle differences in their encodings. This document is also an effort to unify the tool support for certificates of QBF solvers.

The inputs and outputs of the AIGER file depend on the result of the QBF solver:

  • If the formula is true (satisfiable), the inputs and outputs are the universal and existential variables, respectively.
  • If the formula is false (unsatisfiable), the inputs and outputs are the existential and universal variables, respectively.

The variables are matched by the symbol table, which is why variables need unique names.

aag 2 1 0 1 0
2                        input x
2                        output y
i0 1 x
o0 2 y

Certification Workflow

Given a QBF problem.aag and certificate certificate.aag. For simplicity, let's assume the formula is true.

  1. Ensure that the certificate is a proof for problem.aag, i.e. check that its inputs are the universal variables and its outputs are the existential variables.
  2. Replace the inputs of existential variables in problem.aag by the output defined in certificate.aag.
  3. Check whether the resulting AIGER circuit outputs 1 (at its only output) for every input.

Tool Support

A conversion tool from the quantified circuit format QCIR is available as part of the solver QuAbS.


AIGER format for Quantified Boolean Formulas



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