Visibly Pushdown Automata: From Language Equivalence to Simulation and
We investigate the possibility of (bi)simulation-like preorder/equivalence checking on the class of visibly pushdown automata and its natural subclasses visibly BPA (Basic Process Algebra) and visibly one-counter automata. We describe generic methods for proving complexity upper and lower bounds for a number of studied preorders and equivalences like simulation, completed simulation, ready simulation, 2-nested simulation preorders/equivalences and bisimulation equivalence. Our main results are that all the mentioned equivalences and preorders are EXPTIME-complete on visibly pushdown automata, PSPACE-complete on visibly one-counter automata and P-complete on visibly BPA. Our PSPACE lower bound for visibly one-counter automata improves also the previously known DP-hardness results for ordinary one-counter automata and one-counter nets. Finally, we study regularity checking problems for visibly pushdown automata and show that they can be decided in polynomial time.