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Average-Case Lower Bounds and Satisfiability Algorithms for Small Threshold Circuits

Authors Ruiwen Chen, Rahul Santhanam, Srikanth Srinivasan



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Ruiwen Chen
Rahul Santhanam
Srikanth Srinivasan

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Ruiwen Chen, Rahul Santhanam, and Srikanth Srinivasan. Average-Case Lower Bounds and Satisfiability Algorithms for Small Threshold Circuits. In 31st Conference on Computational Complexity (CCC 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 50, pp. 1:1-1:35, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)
https://doi.org/10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2016.1

Abstract

We show average-case lower bounds for explicit Boolean functions against bounded-depth threshold circuits with a superlinear number of wires. We show that for each integer d > 1, there is epsilon_d > 0 such that Parity has correlation at most 1/n^{Omega(1)} with depth-d threshold circuits which have at most n^{1+epsilon_d} wires, and the Generalized Andreev Function has correlation at most 1/2^{n^{Omega(1)}} with depth-d threshold circuits which have at most n^{1+epsilon_d} wires. Previously, only worst-case lower bounds in this setting were known [Impagliazzo/Paturi/Saks, SIAM J. Comp., 1997]. We use our ideas to make progress on several related questions. We give satisfiability algorithms beating brute force search for depth-$d$ threshold circuits with a superlinear number of wires. These are the first such algorithms for depth greater than 2. We also show that Parity cannot be computed by polynomial-size AC^0 circuits with n^{o(1)} general threshold gates. Previously no lower bound for Parity in this setting could handle more than log(n) gates. This result also implies subexponential-time learning algorithms for AC^0 with n^{o(1)} threshold gates under the uniform distribution. In addition, we give almost optimal bounds for the number of gates in a depth-d threshold circuit computing Parity on average, and show average-case lower bounds for threshold formulas ofany depth. Our techniques include adaptive random restrictions, anti-concentration and the structural theory of linear threshold functions, and bounded-read Chernoff bounds.
Keywords
  • threshold circuit
  • satisfiability algorithm
  • circuit lower bound

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