Parity is Positively Useless

Author Cenny Wenner

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Cenny Wenner

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Cenny Wenner. Parity is Positively Useless. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 28, pp. 433-448, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2014)


We give the first examples of non-trivially positively-useless predicates subject only to P != NP. In particular, for every constraint function Q : {-1,1}^4 -> R, we construct Contraint-Satisfaction-Problem (CSP) instances without negations which have value at least 1-eps when evaluted for the arity-four odd-parity predicate, yet it is NP-hard to find a solution with value significantly better than a random biased assignment when evaluated for Q. More generally, we show that all parities except one are positively useless. Although we are not able to exhibit a single protocol producing hard instances when evaluated for every Q, we show that two protocols do the trick. The first protocol is the classical one used by Håstad with a twist. We extend the protocol to multilayered Label Cover and employ a particular distribution over layers in order to limit moments of table biases. The second protocol is a modification of Chan's multi-question protocol where queried tuples of Label Cover vertices are randomized in such a way that the tables can be seen as being independently sampled from a common distribution and in effect having identical expected biases. We believe that our techniques may prove useful in further analyzing the approximability of CSPs without negations.
  • Approximation hardness
  • approximation resistance
  • parity
  • usefulness
  • negations
  • monotone
  • constraint satisfaction problems
  • smoothness
  • multilayer
  • L


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