Satisfiability and Derandomization for Small Polynomial Threshold Circuits

Authors Valentine Kabanets, Zhenjian Lu

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Valentine Kabanets
  • School of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada
Zhenjian Lu
  • School of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada

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Valentine Kabanets and Zhenjian Lu. Satisfiability and Derandomization for Small Polynomial Threshold Circuits. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 116, pp. 46:1-46:19, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)


A polynomial threshold function (PTF) is defined as the sign of a polynomial p : {0,1}^n ->R. A PTF circuit is a Boolean circuit whose gates are PTFs. We study the problems of exact and (promise) approximate counting for PTF circuits of constant depth. - Satisfiability (#SAT). We give the first zero-error randomized algorithm faster than exhaustive search that counts the number of satisfying assignments of a given constant-depth circuit with a super-linear number of wires whose gates are s-sparse PTFs, for s almost quadratic in the input size of the circuit; here a PTF is called s-sparse if its underlying polynomial has at most s monomials. More specifically, we show that, for any large enough constant c, given a depth-d circuit with (n^{2-1/c})-sparse PTF gates that has at most n^{1+epsilon_d} wires, where epsilon_d depends only on c and d, the number of satisfying assignments of the circuit can be computed in randomized time 2^{n-n^{epsilon_d}} with zero error. This generalizes the result by Chen, Santhanam and Srinivasan (CCC, 2016) who gave a SAT algorithm for constant-depth circuits of super-linear wire complexity with linear threshold function (LTF) gates only. - Quantified derandomization. The quantified derandomization problem, introduced by Goldreich and Wigderson (STOC, 2014), asks to compute the majority value of a given Boolean circuit, under the promise that the minority-value inputs to the circuit are very few. We give a quantified derandomization algorithm for constant-depth PTF circuits with a super-linear number of wires that runs in quasi-polynomial time. More specifically, we show that for any sufficiently large constant c, there is an algorithm that, given a degree-Delta PTF circuit C of depth d with n^{1+1/c^d} wires such that C has at most 2^{n^{1-1/c}} minority-value inputs, runs in quasi-polynomial time exp ((log n)^{O (Delta^2)}) and determines the majority value of C. (We obtain a similar quantified derandomization result for PTF circuits with n^{Delta}-sparse PTF gates.) This extends the recent result of Tell (STOC, 2018) for constant-depth LTF circuits of super-linear wire complexity. - Pseudorandom generators. We show how the classical Nisan-Wigderson (NW) generator (JCSS, 1994) yields a nontrivial pseudorandom generator for PTF circuits (of unrestricted depth) with sub-linearly many gates. As a corollary, we get a PRG for degree-Delta PTFs with the seed length exp (sqrt{Delta * log n})* log^2(1/epsilon).

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Circuit complexity
  • constant-depth circuits
  • polynomial threshold functions
  • circuit analysis algorithms
  • SAT
  • derandomization
  • quantified derandomization
  • pseudorandom generators.


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