Improved Learning from Kolmogorov Complexity

Authors Halley Goldberg, Valentine Kabanets

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Halley Goldberg
  • Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada
Valentine Kabanets
  • Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada


We thank Shuichi Hirahara, Russell Impagliazzo, Zhenjian Lu, and Igor Oliveira for helpful discussions.

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Halley Goldberg and Valentine Kabanets. Improved Learning from Kolmogorov Complexity. In 38th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 264, pp. 12:1-12:29, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)


Carmosino, Impagliazzo, Kabanets, and Kolokolova (CCC, 2016) showed that the existence of natural properties in the sense of Razborov and Rudich (JCSS, 1997) implies PAC learning algorithms in the sense of Valiant (Comm. ACM, 1984), for boolean functions in P/poly, under the uniform distribution and with membership queries. It is still an open problem to get from natural properties learning algorithms that do not rely on membership queries but rather use randomly drawn labeled examples. Natural properties may be understood as an average-case version of MCSP, the problem of deciding the minimum size of a circuit computing a given truth-table. Problems related to MCSP include those concerning time-bounded Kolmogorov complexity. MKTP, for example, asks for the KT-complexity of a given string. KT-complexity is a relaxation of circuit size, as it does away with the requirement that a short description of a string be interpreted as a boolean circuit. In this work, under assumptions of MKTP and the related problem MK^tP being easy on average, we get learning algorithms for boolean functions in P/poly that - work over any distribution D samplable by a family of polynomial-size circuits (given explicitly in the case of MKTP), - only use randomly drawn labeled examples from D, and - are agnostic (do not require the target function to belong to the hypothesis class). Our results build upon the recent work of Hirahara and Nanashima (FOCS, 2021) who showed similar learning consequences but under a stronger assumption that NP is easy on average.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Computational complexity and cryptography
  • learning
  • Kolmogorov complexity
  • meta-complexity
  • average-case complexity


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