NDAB16011U  Logic in Computer Science (LICS)

Volume 2017/2018

BSc Programme in Computer Science


The aim of this course is to provide a firm theoretical foundation of formal logic, with an emphasis on logics, properties, techniques and algorithms relevant in computer science. Building on the students' existing knowledge of Boolean logic and mathematical reasoning, the course includes both fundamental logic formalisms and more specialized logics used in modelling, specification, and verification of programs and hardware systems.

The course covers introductions to

  • propositional logic,
  • predicate logic,
  • temporal logics LTL and CTL,
  • model checking,
  • binary decision diagrams, and
  • formalised proving using a proof assistant.


Learning Outcome

At course completion, the successful student will have

Knowledge of:

  • Defining logics in terms of syntax, semantics and natural deduction systems, and formal reasoning about logical formulas.
  • A selection of specific logics, including propositional logic, predicate logic and temporal logic (e.g. LTL and CTL).
  • Fundamental properties of these logics, such as soundness, completeness and decidability.
  • Algorithms for transforming logical formulas to normal forms; for deciding fundamental properties of logical formulas such as satisfiability, validity, and entailment; and (symbolic) model checking by binary decision diagrams (BDDs).

Skills in:

  • Deciding and proving formal properties of logical formulas (e.g. satisfiability, validity, implication and equivalence) both by semantics and natural deduction arguments.
  • Proving properties relating logical inference systems and semantics, specifically soundness or completeness.
  • Applying specific algorithms for deciding properties of logical formulas: SAT solvers for propositional calculus; model checking LTL/CTL; using BDDs to represent Boolean functions and perform symbolic model checking.
  • Performing any of the above in the context of variants of the presented logics.

Competences to:

  • Use formal logic to describe real-world situations, express properties of programs and reason about them formally.


  • Expected to be "Logic in Computer Science", 2nd Edition; by Michael Huth and Mark Ryan, Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-521-54310X.
  • Supplementary notes.
Discrete mathematics and algorithms (DMA) or Discrete mathematics (DIS) or Discrete mathematics for first-year students (DisRus) or other course(s) covering basic arithmetic, sets, relations, functions, big-O-notation, graphs, basic proofs by induction, mathematical reasoning by deductive arguments.

Problem solving and programming (PoP) or equivalent: Functions, recursion, lists, user-defined data types.
2 lectures of 2 hours each and 1 exercise/discussion session of 4 hours per week;
obligatory written exercises.
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 4 hours under invigilation
Written 4-hour exam with invigilation.
Exam registration requirements

There will be 6 weekly homework sets during the course: at least 5 of the 6 sets must be completed satisfactorily to qualify for taking the exam. Unsatisfactorily or partially satisfactorily homework solutions can be resubmitted once except for the last homework set, where no resubmission is possible.

Written aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Multiple internal examiners.

Same format as for the ordinary exam. Qualification requires 5 satisfactory homework solutions, including previous solutions already turned in prior to the ordinary exam. These must be handed in no later than 2 weeks before the re-exam.

If less than 10 students are signed up for the re-exam, the re-exam will be an oral exam (30 minutes including grading) after preparation (60 minutes) with written aids only (no electronic aids).

Criteria for exam assesment

See Learning Outcome.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Exam
  • 17
  • Theory exercises
  • 14
  • Preparation
  • 147
  • Total
  • 206