On Vanishing Sums of Roots of Unity in Polynomial Calculus and Sum-Of-Squares

Authors Ilario Bonacina, Nicola Galesi, Massimo Lauria

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Ilario Bonacina
  • Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
Nicola Galesi
  • Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy
Massimo Lauria
  • Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy


The authors would like to thank Albert Atserias for fruitful discussions.

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Ilario Bonacina, Nicola Galesi, and Massimo Lauria. On Vanishing Sums of Roots of Unity in Polynomial Calculus and Sum-Of-Squares. In 47th International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (MFCS 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 241, pp. 23:1-23:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)


Vanishing sums of roots of unity can be seen as a natural generalization of knapsack from Boolean variables to variables taking values over the roots of unity. We show that these sums are hard to prove for polynomial calculus and for sum-of-squares, both in terms of degree and size.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Proof complexity
  • Computing methodologies → Representation of polynomials
  • polynomial calculus
  • sum-of-squares
  • roots of unity
  • knapsack


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