The First-Order Logic of Hyperproperties

Bernd Finkbeiner and Martin Zimmermann

We investigate the logical foundations of hyperproperties. Hyperproperties generalize trace properties, which are sets of traces, to sets of sets of traces. The most prominent application of hyperproperties is information flow security: information flow policies characterize the secrecy and integrity of a system by comparing two or more execution traces, for example by comparing the observations made by an external observer on execution traces that result from different values of a secret variable. In this paper, we establish the first connection between temporal logics for hyperproperties and first-order logic. Kamp’s seminal theorem (in the formulation due to Gabbay et al.) states that linear-time temporal logic (LTL) is expressively equivalent to first-order logic over the natural numbers with order. We introduce first-order logic over sets of traces and prove that HyperLTL, the extension of LTL to hyperproperties, is strictly subsumed by this logic. We furthermore exhibit a fragment that is expressively equivalent to HyperLTL, thereby establishing Kamp’s theorem for hyperproperties.


Accepted for publication at STACS 2017.

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