See Translating SAT to HornSAT

It says in that post that it is impossible to translate SAT into HORNSAT. But it is known that HORNSAT is P-complete, so any language in P can be translated into HORNSAT. Then if it is impossible to translate SAT, which is in NP, into HORNSAT, then wouldn't this imply that P is not NP? What am I missing?


1 Answer 1


That question was about a translation from an arbitrary instance of SAT to a HORN-SAT instance with the exact same satisfying assignments. The translation property needed for P$\neq$NP is just equisatisfiability, not equality of assignments. That is, it simply requires them both to be satisfiable, or unsatisfiable. If satisfiable, they may be satisfied by different assignments.

For example: $a \wedge \neg b$ and $\neg a \wedge b$ are equisatisfiable (they are both satisfiable), but they have different satisfying assignments.

The answer was that there can not be a satisfying assignment preserving translation, but this doesn't tell us whether there is a polynomial time satisfiability preserving translation.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. I notice in that post that one of the comments mentions a trivial reduction from SAT to HORNSAT, without taking into account efficiency (not a polynomial reduction). What is this reduction? $\endgroup$ Jan 6, 2011 at 2:06
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    $\begingroup$ You solve the SAT instance and then output a satisfiable or unsatisfiable HORN-SAT depending on the answer. $\endgroup$ Jan 6, 2011 at 3:12

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