Twenty-Two New Approximate Proof Labeling Schemes

Authors Yuval Emek, Yuval Gil

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Yuval Emek
  • Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
Yuval Gil
  • Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel

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Yuval Emek and Yuval Gil. Twenty-Two New Approximate Proof Labeling Schemes. In 34th International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 179, pp. 20:1-20:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)


Introduced by Korman, Kutten, and Peleg (Distributed Computing 2005), a proof labeling scheme (PLS) is a system dedicated to verifying that a given configuration graph satisfies a certain property. It is composed of a centralized prover, whose role is to generate a proof for yes-instances in the form of an assignment of labels to the nodes, and a distributed verifier, whose role is to verify the validity of the proof by local means and accept it if and only if the property is satisfied. To overcome lower bounds on the label size of PLSs for certain graph properties, Censor-Hillel, Paz, and Perry (SIROCCO 2017) introduced the notion of an approximate proof labeling scheme (APLS) that allows the verifier to accept also some no-instances as long as they are not "too far" from satisfying the property. The goal of the current paper is to advance our understanding of the power and limitations of APLSs. To this end, we formulate the notion of APLSs in terms of distributed graph optimization problems (OptDGPs) and develop two generic methods for the design of APLSs. These methods are then applied to various classic OptDGPs, obtaining twenty-two new APLSs. An appealing characteristic of our APLSs is that they are all sequentially efficient in the sense that both the prover and the verifier are required to run in (sequential) polynomial time. On the negative side, we establish "combinatorial" lower bounds on the label size for some of the aforementioned OptDGPs that demonstrate the optimality of our corresponding APLSs. For other OptDGPs, we establish conditional lower bounds that exploit the sequential efficiency of the verifier alone (under the assumption that NP ≠ co-NP) or that of both the verifier and the prover (under the assumption that P ≠ NP, with and without the unique games conjecture).

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Distributed algorithms
  • Theory of computation → Approximation algorithms analysis
  • proof labeling schemes
  • distributed graph problems
  • approximation algorithms


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