Improved 3LIN Hardness via Linear Label Cover

Authors Prahladh Harsha , Subhash Khot, Euiwoong Lee, Devanathan Thiruvenkatachari

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Author Details

Prahladh Harsha
  • School of Technology and Computer Science, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India
Subhash Khot
  • Department of Computer Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, USA
Euiwoong Lee
  • Department of Computer Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, USA
Devanathan Thiruvenkatachari
  • Department of Computer Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, USA

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Prahladh Harsha, Subhash Khot, Euiwoong Lee, and Devanathan Thiruvenkatachari. Improved 3LIN Hardness via Linear Label Cover. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 145, pp. 9:1-9:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)


We prove that for every constant c and epsilon = (log n)^{-c}, there is no polynomial time algorithm that when given an instance of 3-LIN with n variables where an (1 - epsilon)-fraction of the clauses are satisfiable, finds an assignment that satisfies atleast (1/2 + epsilon)-fraction of clauses unless NP subseteq BPP. The previous best hardness using a polynomial time reduction achieves epsilon = (log log n)^{-c}, which is obtained by the Label Cover hardness of Moshkovitz and Raz [J. ACM, 57(5), 2010] followed by the reduction from Label Cover to 3-LIN of Håstad [J. ACM, 48(4):798 - 859, 2001]. Our main idea is to prove a hardness result for Label Cover similar to Moshkovitz and Raz where each projection has a linear structure. This linear structure of Label Cover allows us to use Hadamard codes instead of long codes, making the reduction more efficient. For the hardness of Linear Label Cover, we follow the work of Dinur and Harsha [SIAM J. Comput., 42(6):2452 - 2486, 2013] that simplified the construction of Moshkovitz and Raz, and observe that running their reduction from a hardness of the problem LIN (of unbounded arity) instead of the more standard problem of solving quadratic equations ensures the linearity of the resultant Label Cover.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Design and analysis of algorithms
  • probabilistically checkable proofs
  • PCP
  • composition
  • 3LIN
  • low soundness error


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