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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 107, 45th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2018)

We show that popular hardness conjectures about problems from the field of fine-grained complexity theory imply structural results for resource-based complexity classes. Namely, we show that if either k-Orthogonal Vectors or k-CLIQUE requires n^{epsilon k} time, for some constant epsilon>1/2, to count (note that these conjectures are significantly weaker than the usual ones made on these problems) on randomized machines for all but finitely many input lengths, then we have the following derandomizations:
- BPP can be decided in polynomial time using only n^alpha random bits on average over any efficient input distribution, for any constant alpha>0
- BPP can be decided in polynomial time with no randomness on average over the uniform distribution
This answers an open question of Ball et al. (STOC '17) in the positive of whether derandomization can be achieved from conjectures from fine-grained complexity theory. More strongly, these derandomizations improve over all previous ones achieved from worst-case uniform assumptions by succeeding on all but finitely many input lengths. Previously, derandomizations from worst-case uniform assumptions were only know to succeed on infinitely many input lengths. It is specifically the structure and moderate hardness of the k-Orthogonal Vectors and k-CLIQUE problems that makes removing this restriction possible.
Via this uniform derandomization, we connect the problem-centric and resource-centric views of complexity theory by showing that exact hardness assumptions about specific problems like k-CLIQUE imply quantitative and qualitative relationships between randomized and deterministic time. This can be either viewed as a barrier to proving some of the main conjectures of fine-grained complexity theory lest we achieve a major breakthrough in unconditional derandomization or, optimistically, as route to attain such derandomizations by working on very concrete and weak conjectures about specific problems.

Marco L. Carmosino, Russell Impagliazzo, and Manuel Sabin. Fine-Grained Derandomization: From Problem-Centric to Resource-Centric Complexity. In 45th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 107, pp. 27:1-27:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)

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@InProceedings{carmosino_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2018.27, author = {Carmosino, Marco L. and Impagliazzo, Russell and Sabin, Manuel}, title = {{Fine-Grained Derandomization: From Problem-Centric to Resource-Centric Complexity}}, booktitle = {45th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2018)}, pages = {27:1--27:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-076-7}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2018}, volume = {107}, editor = {Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis and Kaklamanis, Christos and Marx, D\'{a}niel and Sannella, Donald}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2018.27}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-90316}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2018.27}, annote = {Keywords: Derandomization, Hardness vs Randomness, Fine-Grained Complexity, Average-Case Complexity, k-Orthogonal Vectors, k-CLIQUE} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 102, 33rd Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2018)

We show that proving mildly super-linear lower bounds on non-commutative arithmetic circuits implies exponential lower bounds on non-commutative circuits. That is, non-commutative circuit complexity is a threshold phenomenon: an apparently weak lower bound actually suffices to show the strongest lower bounds we could desire.
This is part of a recent line of inquiry into why arithmetic circuit complexity, despite being a heavily restricted version of Boolean complexity, still cannot prove super-linear lower bounds on general devices. One can view our work as positive news (it suffices to prove weak lower bounds to get strong ones) or negative news (it is as hard to prove weak lower bounds as it is to prove strong ones). We leave it to the reader to determine their own level of optimism.

Marco L. Carmosino, Russell Impagliazzo, Shachar Lovett, and Ivan Mihajlin. Hardness Amplification for Non-Commutative Arithmetic Circuits. In 33rd Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 102, pp. 12:1-12:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)

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@InProceedings{carmosino_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2018.12, author = {Carmosino, Marco L. and Impagliazzo, Russell and Lovett, Shachar and Mihajlin, Ivan}, title = {{Hardness Amplification for Non-Commutative Arithmetic Circuits}}, booktitle = {33rd Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2018)}, pages = {12:1--12:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-069-9}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2018}, volume = {102}, editor = {Servedio, Rocco A.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2018.12}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-88772}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2018.12}, annote = {Keywords: arithmetic circuits, hardness amplification, circuit lower bounds, non-commutative computation} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 81, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017)

We generalize the "learning algorithms from natural properties" framework of [CIKK16] to get agnostic learning algorithms from natural properties with extra features. We show that if a natural property (in the sense of Razborov and Rudich [RR97]) is useful also against functions that are close to the class of "easy" functions, rather than just against "easy" functions, then it can be used to get an agnostic learning algorithm over the uniform distribution with membership queries.
* For AC0[q], any prime q (constant-depth circuits of polynomial size, with AND, OR, NOT, and MODq gates of unbounded fanin), which happens to have a natural property with the requisite extra feature by [Raz87, Smo87, RR97], we obtain the first agnostic learning algorithm for AC0[q], for every prime q. Our algorithm runs in randomized quasi-polynomial time, uses membership queries, and outputs a circuit for a given Boolean function f that agrees with f on all but at most polylog(n)*opt fraction of inputs, where opt is the relative distance between f and the closest function h in the class AC0[q].
* For the ideal case, a natural proof of strongly exponential correlation circuit lower bounds against a circuit class C containing AC0[2] (i.e., circuits of size exp(Omega(n)) cannot compute some n-variate function even with exp(-Omega(n)) advantage over random guessing) would yield a polynomial-time query agnostic learning algorithm for C with the approximation error O(opt).

Marco L. Carmosino, Russell Impagliazzo, Valentine Kabanets, and Antonina Kolokolova. Agnostic Learning from Tolerant Natural Proofs. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 81, pp. 35:1-35:19, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{carmosino_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.35, author = {Carmosino, Marco L. and Impagliazzo, Russell and Kabanets, Valentine and Kolokolova, Antonina}, title = {{Agnostic Learning from Tolerant Natural Proofs}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017)}, pages = {35:1--35:19}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-044-6}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2017}, volume = {81}, editor = {Jansen, Klaus and Rolim, Jos\'{e} D. P. and Williamson, David P. and Vempala, Santosh S.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.35}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-75842}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.35}, annote = {Keywords: agnostic learning, natural proofs, circuit lower bounds, meta-algorithms, AC0\lbrackq\rbrack, Nisan-Wigderson generator} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 50, 31st Conference on Computational Complexity (CCC 2016)

Based on Hastad's (1986) circuit lower bounds, Linial, Mansour, and Nisan (1993) gave a quasipolytime learning algorithm for AC^0 (constant-depth circuits with AND, OR, and NOT gates), in the PAC model over the uniform distribution. It was an open question to get a learning algorithm (of any kind) for the class of AC^0[p] circuits (constant-depth, with AND, OR, NOT, and MOD_p gates for a prime p).
Our main result is a quasipolytime learning algorithm for AC^0[p] in the PAC model over the uniform distribution with membership queries. This algorithm is an application of a general connection we show to hold between natural proofs (in the sense of Razborov and Rudich (1997)) and learning algorithms. We argue that a natural proof of a circuit lower bound against any (sufficiently powerful) circuit class yields a learning algorithm for the same circuit class. As the lower bounds against AC^0[p] by Razborov (1987) and Smolensky (1987) are natural, we obtain our learning algorithm for AC^0[p].

Marco L. Carmosino, Russell Impagliazzo, Valentine Kabanets, and Antonina Kolokolova. Learning Algorithms from Natural Proofs. In 31st Conference on Computational Complexity (CCC 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 50, pp. 10:1-10:24, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)

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@InProceedings{carmosino_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2016.10, author = {Carmosino, Marco L. and Impagliazzo, Russell and Kabanets, Valentine and Kolokolova, Antonina}, title = {{Learning Algorithms from Natural Proofs}}, booktitle = {31st Conference on Computational Complexity (CCC 2016)}, pages = {10:1--10:24}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-008-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2016}, volume = {50}, editor = {Raz, Ran}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2016.10}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-58557}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2016.10}, annote = {Keywords: natural proofs, circuit complexity, lower bounds, learning, compression} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 40, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015)

We tighten the connections between circuit lower bounds and derandomization for each of the following three types of derandomization:
- general derandomization of promiseBPP (connected to Boolean circuits),
- derandomization of Polynomial Identity Testing (PIT) over fixed finite fields (connected to arithmetic circuit lower bounds over the same field), and
- derandomization of PIT over the integers (connected to arithmetic circuit lower bounds over the integers).
We show how to make these connections uniform equivalences, although at the expense of using somewhat less common versions of complexity classes and for a less studied notion of inclusion.
Our main results are as follows:
1. We give the first proof that a non-trivial (nondeterministic subexponential-time) algorithm for PIT over a fixed finite field yields arithmetic circuit lower bounds.
2. We get a similar result for the case of PIT over the integers, strengthening a result of Jansen and Santhanam [JS12] (by removing the need for advice).
3. We derive a Boolean circuit lower bound for NEXP intersect coNEXP from the assumption of sufficiently strong non-deterministic derandomization of promiseBPP (without advice), as well as from the assumed existence of an NP-computable non-empty property of Boolean functions useful for proving superpolynomial circuit lower bounds (in the sense of natural proofs of [RR97]); this strengthens the related results of [IKW02].
4. Finally, we turn all of these implications into equivalences for appropriately defined promise classes and for a notion of robust inclusion/separation (inspired by [FS11]) that lies between the classical "almost everywhere" and "infinitely often" notions.

Marco L. Carmosino, Russell Impagliazzo, Valentine Kabanets, and Antonina Kolokolova. Tighter Connections between Derandomization and Circuit Lower Bounds. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 40, pp. 645-658, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2015)

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@InProceedings{carmosino_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.645, author = {Carmosino, Marco L. and Impagliazzo, Russell and Kabanets, Valentine and Kolokolova, Antonina}, title = {{Tighter Connections between Derandomization and Circuit Lower Bounds}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015)}, pages = {645--658}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-939897-89-7}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2015}, volume = {40}, editor = {Garg, Naveen and Jansen, Klaus and Rao, Anup and Rolim, Jos\'{e} D. P.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.645}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-53285}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.645}, annote = {Keywords: derandomization, circuit lower bounds, polynomial identity testing, promise BPP, hardness vs. randomness} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 306, 49th International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (MFCS 2024)

The number of quantifiers needed to express first-order (FO) properties is captured by two-player combinatorial games called multi-structural games. We analyze these games on binary strings with an ordering relation, using a technique we call parallel play, which significantly reduces the number of quantifiers needed in many cases. Ordered structures such as strings have historically been notoriously difficult to analyze in the context of these and similar games. Nevertheless, in this paper, we provide essentially tight bounds on the number of quantifiers needed to characterize different-sized subsets of strings. The results immediately give bounds on the number of quantifiers necessary to define several different classes of Boolean functions. One of our results is analogous to Lupanov’s upper bounds on circuit size and formula size in propositional logic: we show that every Boolean function on n-bit inputs can be defined by a FO sentence having (1+ε)n/log(n) + O(1) quantifiers, and that this is essentially tight. We reduce this number to (1 + ε)log(n) + O(1) when the Boolean function in question is sparse.

Marco Carmosino, Ronald Fagin, Neil Immerman, Phokion G. Kolaitis, Jonathan Lenchner, and Rik Sengupta. On the Number of Quantifiers Needed to Define Boolean Functions. In 49th International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (MFCS 2024). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 306, pp. 34:1-34:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2024)

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@InProceedings{carmosino_et_al:LIPIcs.MFCS.2024.34, author = {Carmosino, Marco and Fagin, Ronald and Immerman, Neil and Kolaitis, Phokion G. and Lenchner, Jonathan and Sengupta, Rik}, title = {{On the Number of Quantifiers Needed to Define Boolean Functions}}, booktitle = {49th International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (MFCS 2024)}, pages = {34:1--34:16}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-335-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2024}, volume = {306}, editor = {Kr\'{a}lovi\v{c}, Rastislav and Ku\v{c}era, Anton{\'\i}n}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.MFCS.2024.34}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-205907}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.MFCS.2024.34}, annote = {Keywords: logic, combinatorial games, Boolean functions, quantifier number} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 198, 48th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2021)

Lifting arguments show that the complexity of a function in one model is essentially that of a related function (often the composition of the original function with a small function called a gadget) in a more powerful model. Lifting has been used to prove strong lower bounds in communication complexity, proof complexity, circuit complexity and many other areas.
We present a lifting construction for constant depth unbounded fan-in circuits. Given a function f, we construct a function g, so that the depth d+1 circuit complexity of g, with a certain restriction on bottom fan-in, is controlled by the depth d circuit complexity of f, with the same restriction. The function g is defined as f composed with a parity function. With some quantitative losses, average-case and general depth-d circuit complexity can be reduced to circuit complexity with this bottom fan-in restriction. As a consequence, an algorithm to approximate the depth d (for any d > 3) circuit complexity of given (truth tables of) Boolean functions yields an algorithm for approximating the depth 3 circuit complexity of functions, i.e., there are quasi-polynomial time mapping reductions between various gap-versions of AC⁰-MCSP. Our lifting results rely on a blockwise switching lemma that may be of independent interest.
We also show some barriers on improving the efficiency of our reductions: such improvements would yield either surprisingly efficient algorithms for MCSP or stronger than known AC⁰ circuit lower bounds.

Marco Carmosino, Kenneth Hoover, Russell Impagliazzo, Valentine Kabanets, and Antonina Kolokolova. Lifting for Constant-Depth Circuits and Applications to MCSP. In 48th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 198, pp. 44:1-44:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{carmosino_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2021.44, author = {Carmosino, Marco and Hoover, Kenneth and Impagliazzo, Russell and Kabanets, Valentine and Kolokolova, Antonina}, title = {{Lifting for Constant-Depth Circuits and Applications to MCSP}}, booktitle = {48th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2021)}, pages = {44:1--44:20}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-195-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {198}, editor = {Bansal, Nikhil and Merelli, Emanuela and Worrell, James}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2021.44}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-141135}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2021.44}, annote = {Keywords: circuit complexity, constant-depth circuits, lifting theorems, Minimum Circuit Size Problem, reductions, Switching Lemma} }

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