Adaptivity Is Exponentially Powerful for Testing Monotonicity of Halfspaces

Authors Xi Chen, Rocco A. Servedio, Li-Yang Tan, Erik Waingarten

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Xi Chen
Rocco A. Servedio
Li-Yang Tan
Erik Waingarten

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Xi Chen, Rocco A. Servedio, Li-Yang Tan, and Erik Waingarten. Adaptivity Is Exponentially Powerful for Testing Monotonicity of Halfspaces. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 81, pp. 38:1-38:21, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)


We give a poly(log(n),1/epsilon)-query adaptive algorithm for testing whether an unknown Boolean function f:{-1, 1}^n -> {-1, 1}, which is promised to be a halfspace, is monotone versus epsilon-far from monotone. Since non-adaptive algorithms are known to require almost Omega(n^{1/2}) queries to test whether an unknown halfspace is monotone versus far from monotone, this shows that adaptivity enables an exponential improvement in the query complexity of monotonicity testing for halfspaces.
  • property testing
  • linear threshold functions
  • monotonicity
  • adaptivity


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