Abstract
In this paper we study algebraic branching programs (ABPs) with restrictions on the order and the number of reads of variables in the program. An ABP is given by a layered directed acyclic graph with source $s$ and sink $t$, whose edges are labeled by variables taken from the set $\{x_1, x_2, \ldots, x_n\}$ or field constants. It computes the sum of weights of all paths from $s$ to $t$, where the weight of a path is defined as the product of edgelabels on the path.
Given a permutation $\pi$ of the $n$ variables, for a $\pi$ordered ABP ($\pi$OABP), for any directed path $p$ from $s$ to $t$, a variable can appear at most once on $p$, and the order in which variables appear on $p$ must respect $\pi$. One can think of OABPs as being the arithmetic analogue of ordered binary decision diagrams (OBDDs). We say an ABP $A$ is of read $r$, if any variable appears at most $r$ times in $A$.
Our main result pertains to the polynomial identity testing problem, i.e. the problem of deciding whether a given $n$variate polynomial is identical to the zero polynomial or not. We prove that over any field $\F$, and in the blackbox model, i.e. given only query access to the polynomial, read $r$ $\pi$OABP computable polynomials can be tested in $\DTIME[2^{O(r\log r \cdot \log^2 n \log\log n)}]$. In case $\F$ is a finite field, the above time bound holds provided the identity testing algorithm is allowed to make queries to extension fields of $\F$. To establish this result, we combine some basic tools from algebraic geometry with ideas from derandomization in the Boolean domain.
Our next set of results investigates the computational limitations of OABPs. It is shown that any OABP computing the determinant or permanent requires size $\Omega(2^n/n)$ and read $\Omega(2^n/n^2)$. We give a multilinear polynomial $p$ in $2n+1$ variables over some specifically selected field $\mathbb{G}$, such that any OABP computing $p$ must read some variable at least $2^n$ times. We prove a strict separation for the computational power of read $(r1)$ and read $r$ OABPs. Namely, we show that the elementary symmetric polynomial of degree $r$ in $n$ variables can be computed by a size $O(rn)$ read $r$ OABP, but not by a read $(r1)$ OABP, for any $0 < 2r1 \leq n$. Finally, we give an example of a polynomial $p$ and two variables orders $\pi \neq \pi'$, such that $p$ can be computed by a readonce $\pi$OABP, but where any $\pi'$OABP computing $p$ must read some variable at least $2^n$ times.
BibTeX  Entry
@InProceedings{jansen_et_al:LIPIcs:2010:2872,
author = {Maurice Jansen and Youming Qiao and Jayalal Sarma M.N.},
title = {{Deterministic BlackBox Identity Testing $pi$Ordered Algebraic Branching Programs}},
booktitle = {IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2010)},
pages = {296307},
series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)},
ISBN = {9783939897231},
ISSN = {18688969},
year = {2010},
volume = {8},
editor = {Kamal Lodaya and Meena Mahajan},
publisher = {Schloss DagstuhlLeibnizZentrum fuer Informatik},
address = {Dagstuhl, Germany},
URL = {http://drops.dagstuhl.de/opus/volltexte/2010/2872},
URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030drops28728},
doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2010.296},
annote = {Keywords: ordered algebraic branching program, polynomial identity testing}
}
Keywords: 

ordered algebraic branching program, polynomial identity testing 
Collection: 

IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2010) 
Issue Date: 

2010 
Date of publication: 

14.12.2010 