Separation of the Factorization Norm and Randomized Communication Complexity

Authors Tsun-Ming Cheung, Hamed Hatami, Kaave Hosseini, Morgan Shirley

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Tsun-Ming Cheung
  • School of Computer Science, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Hamed Hatami
  • School of Computer Science, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Kaave Hosseini
  • Department of Computer Science, University of Rochester, NY, USA
Morgan Shirley
  • Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto, Canada

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Tsun-Ming Cheung, Hamed Hatami, Kaave Hosseini, and Morgan Shirley. Separation of the Factorization Norm and Randomized Communication Complexity. In 38th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 264, pp. 1:1-1:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)


In an influential paper, Linial and Shraibman (STOC '07) introduced the factorization norm as a powerful tool for proving lower bounds against randomized and quantum communication complexities. They showed that the logarithm of the approximate γ₂-factorization norm is a lower bound for these parameters and asked whether a stronger lower bound that replaces approximate γ₂ norm with the γ₂ norm holds. We answer the question of Linial and Shraibman in the negative by exhibiting a 2ⁿ×2ⁿ Boolean matrix with γ₂ norm 2^Ω(n) and randomized communication complexity O(log n). As a corollary, we recover the recent result of Chattopadhyay, Lovett, and Vinyals (CCC '19) that deterministic protocols with access to an Equality oracle are exponentially weaker than (one-sided error) randomized protocols. In fact, as a stronger consequence, our result implies an exponential separation between the power of unambiguous nondeterministic protocols with access to Equality oracle and (one-sided error) randomized protocols, which answers a question of Pitassi, Shirley, and Shraibman (ITSC '23). Our result also implies a conjecture of Sherif (Ph.D. thesis) that the γ₂ norm of the Integer Inner Product function (IIP) in dimension 3 or higher is exponential in its input size.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Communication complexity
  • Factorization norms
  • randomized communication complexity


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