Given a Boolean function f:{-1,1}ⁿ→ {-1,1}, define the Fourier distribution to be the distribution on subsets of [n], where each S ⊆ [n] is sampled with probability f̂(S)². The Fourier Entropy-Influence (FEI) conjecture of Friedgut and Kalai [E. Friedgut and G. Kalai, 1996] seeks to relate two fundamental measures associated with the Fourier distribution: does there exist a universal constant C>0 such that ℍ(f̂²)≤ C⋅ Inf(f), where ℍ(f̂²) is the Shannon entropy of the Fourier distribution of f and Inf(f) is the total influence of f?

In this paper we present three new contributions towards the FEI conjecture:

ii) Our first contribution shows that ℍ(f̂²) ≤ 2⋅ aUC^⊕(f), where aUC^⊕(f) is the average unambiguous parity-certificate complexity of f. This improves upon several bounds shown by Chakraborty et al. [S. Chakraborty et al., 2016]. We further improve this bound for unambiguous DNFs.

iii) We next consider the weaker Fourier Min-entropy-Influence (FMEI) conjecture posed by O'Donnell and others [R. O'Donnell et al., 2011; R. O'Donnell, 2014] which asks if ℍ_{∞}(f̂²) ≤ C⋅ Inf(f), where ℍ_{∞}(f̂²) is the min-entropy of the Fourier distribution. We show ℍ_{∞}(f̂²) ≤ 2⋅?_{min}^⊕(f), where ?_{min}^⊕(f) is the minimum parity certificate complexity of f. We also show that for all ε ≥ 0, we have ℍ_{∞}(f̂²) ≤ 2log (‖f̂‖_{1,ε}/(1-ε)), where ‖f̂‖_{1,ε} is the approximate spectral norm of f. As a corollary, we verify the FMEI conjecture for the class of read-k DNFs (for constant k).

iv) Our third contribution is to better understand implications of the FEI conjecture for the structure of polynomials that 1/3-approximate a Boolean function on the Boolean cube. We pose a conjecture: no flat polynomial (whose non-zero Fourier coefficients have the same magnitude) of degree d and sparsity 2^ω(d) can 1/3-approximate a Boolean function. This conjecture is known to be true assuming FEI and we prove the conjecture unconditionally (i.e., without assuming the FEI conjecture) for a class of polynomials. We discuss an intriguing connection between our conjecture and the constant for the Bohnenblust-Hille inequality, which has been extensively studied in functional analysis.