Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 264, 38th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2023)

Dinitz, Schapira, and Valadarsky [Dinitz et al., 2017] introduced the intriguing notion of expanding expanders - a family of expander graphs with the property that every two consecutive graphs in the family differ only on a small number of edges. Such a family allows one to add and remove vertices with only few edge updates, making them useful in dynamic settings such as for datacenter network topologies and for the design of distributed algorithms for self-healing expanders. [Dinitz et al., 2017] constructed explicit expanding-expanders based on the Bilu-Linial construction of spectral expanders [Bilu and Linial, 2006]. The construction of expanding expanders, however, ends up being of edge expanders, thus, an open problem raised by [Dinitz et al., 2017] is to construct spectral expanding expanders (SEE).
In this work, we resolve this question by constructing SEE with spectral expansion which, like [Bilu and Linial, 2006], is optimal up to a poly-logarithmic factor, and the number of edge updates is optimal up to a constant. We further give a simple proof for the existence of SEE that are close to Ramanujan up to a small additive term. As in [Dinitz et al., 2017], our construction is based on interpolating between a graph and its lift. However, to establish spectral expansion, we carefully weigh the interpolated graphs, dubbed partial lifts, in a way that enables us to conduct a delicate analysis of their spectrum. In particular, at a crucial point in the analysis, we consider the eigenvectors structure of the partial lifts.

Gil Cohen and Itay Cohen. Spectral Expanding Expanders. In 38th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 264, pp. 8:1-8:19, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{cohen_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2023.8, author = {Cohen, Gil and Cohen, Itay}, title = {{Spectral Expanding Expanders}}, booktitle = {38th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2023)}, pages = {8:1--8:19}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-282-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2023}, volume = {264}, editor = {Ta-Shma, Amnon}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2023.8}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-182780}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2023.8}, annote = {Keywords: Expanders, Normalized Random Walk, Spectral Analysis} }

Document

Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 229, 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)

Cohen, Peri and Ta-Shma [Gil Cohen et al., 2021] considered the following question: Assume the vertices of an expander graph are labelled by ± 1. What "test" functions f : {±1}^t → {±1} can or cannot distinguish t independent samples from those obtained by a random walk? [Gil Cohen et al., 2021] considered only balanced labellings, and proved that for all symmetric functions the distinguishability goes down to zero with the spectral gap λ of the expander G. In addition, [Gil Cohen et al., 2021] show that functions computable by AC⁰ circuits are fooled by expanders with vanishing spectral expansion.
We continue the study of this question. We generalize the result to all labelling, not merely balanced ones. We also improve the upper bound on the error of symmetric functions. More importantly, we give a matching lower bound and show a symmetric function with distinguishability going down to zero with λ but not with t. Moreover, we prove a lower bound on the error of functions in AC⁰ in particular, we prove that a random walk on expanders with constant spectral gap does not fool AC⁰.

Gil Cohen, Dor Minzer, Shir Peleg, Aaron Potechin, and Amnon Ta-Shma. Expander Random Walks: The General Case and Limitations. In 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 229, pp. 43:1-43:18, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{cohen_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.43, author = {Cohen, Gil and Minzer, Dor and Peleg, Shir and Potechin, Aaron and Ta-Shma, Amnon}, title = {{Expander Random Walks: The General Case and Limitations}}, booktitle = {49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)}, pages = {43:1--43:18}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-235-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {229}, editor = {Boja\'{n}czyk, Miko{\l}aj and Merelli, Emanuela and Woodruff, David P.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.43}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-163849}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.43}, annote = {Keywords: Expander Graphs, Random Walks, Lower Bounds} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 229, 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)

The Alon-Edmonds-Luby distance amplification procedure (FOCS 1995) is an algorithm that transforms a code with vanishing distance to a code with constant distance. AEL was invoked by Kopparty, Meir, Ron-Zewi, and Saraf (J. ACM 2017) for obtaining their state-of-the-art LDC, LCC and LTC. Cohen and Yankovitz (CCC 2021) devised a procedure that can amplify inverse-polynomial distances, exponentially extending the regime of distances that can be amplified by AEL. However, the improved procedure only works for LDC and assuming rate 1-1/(poly log n).
In this work we devise a distance amplification procedure for LCC with inverse-polynomial distances even for vanishing rate 1/(poly log log n). For LDC, we obtain a more modest improvement and require rate 1-1/(poly log log n). Thus, the tables have turned and it is now LCC that can be better amplified. Our key idea for accomplishing this, deviating from prior work, is to tailor the distance amplification procedure to the code at hand.
Our second result concerns the relation between linear LDC and LCC. We prove the existence of linear LDC that are not LCC, qualitatively extending a separation by Kaufman and Viderman (RANDOM 2010).

Gil Cohen and Tal Yankovitz. LCC and LDC: Tailor-Made Distance Amplification and a Refined Separation. In 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 229, pp. 44:1-44:20, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{cohen_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.44, author = {Cohen, Gil and Yankovitz, Tal}, title = {{LCC and LDC: Tailor-Made Distance Amplification and a Refined Separation}}, booktitle = {49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)}, pages = {44:1--44:20}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-235-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {229}, editor = {Boja\'{n}czyk, Miko{\l}aj and Merelli, Emanuela and Woodruff, David P.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.44}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-163858}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.44}, annote = {Keywords: Locally Correctable Codes, Locally Decodable Codes, Distance Amplifications} }

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RANDOM

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 207, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2021)

Tree codes are combinatorial structures introduced by Schulman [Schulman, 1993] as key ingredients in interactive coding schemes. Asymptotically-good tree codes are long known to exist, yet their explicit construction remains a notoriously hard open problem. Even proposing a plausible construction, without the burden of proof, is difficult and the defining tree code property requires structure that remains elusive. To the best of our knowledge, only one candidate appears in the literature, due to Moore and Schulman [Moore and Schulman, 2014].
We put forth a new candidate for an explicit asymptotically-good tree code. Our construction is an extension of the vanishing rate tree code by Cohen-Haeupler-Schulman [Cohen et al., 2018], and its correctness relies on a conjecture that we introduce on certain Pascal determinants indexed by the points of the Boolean hypercube. Furthermore, using the vanishing distance tree code by Gelles et al. [Gelles et al., 2016] enables us to present a construction that relies on an even weaker assumption. We furnish evidence supporting our conjecture through numerical computation, combinatorial arguments from planar path graphs and based on well-studied heuristics from arithmetic geometry.

Inbar Ben Yaacov, Gil Cohen, and Anand Kumar Narayanan. Candidate Tree Codes via Pascal Determinant Cubes. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 207, pp. 54:1-54:22, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{benyaacov_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2021.54, author = {Ben Yaacov, Inbar and Cohen, Gil and Narayanan, Anand Kumar}, title = {{Candidate Tree Codes via Pascal Determinant Cubes}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2021)}, pages = {54:1--54:22}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-207-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {207}, editor = {Wootters, Mary and Sanit\`{a}, Laura}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2021.54}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-147474}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2021.54}, annote = {Keywords: Tree codes, Sparse polynomials, Explicit constructions} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 200, 36th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2021)

The main contribution of this work is a rate amplification procedure for LCC. Our procedure converts any q-query linear LCC, having rate ρ and, say, constant distance to an asymptotically good LCC with q^poly(1/ρ) queries.
Our second contribution is a distance amplification procedure for LDC that converts any linear LDC with distance δ and, say, constant rate to an asymptotically good LDC. The query complexity only suffers a multiplicative overhead that is roughly equal to the query complexity of a length 1/δ asymptotically good LDC. This improves upon the poly(1/δ) overhead obtained by the AEL distance amplification procedure [Alon and Luby, 1996; Alon et al., 1995].
Our work establishes that the construction of asymptotically good LDC and LCC is reduced, with a minor overhead in query complexity, to the problem of constructing a vanishing rate linear LCC and a (rapidly) vanishing distance linear LDC, respectively.

Gil Cohen and Tal Yankovitz. Rate Amplification and Query-Efficient Distance Amplification for Linear LCC and LDC. In 36th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 200, pp. 1:1-1:57, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{cohen_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2021.1, author = {Cohen, Gil and Yankovitz, Tal}, title = {{Rate Amplification and Query-Efficient Distance Amplification for Linear LCC and LDC}}, booktitle = {36th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2021)}, pages = {1:1--1:57}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-193-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {200}, editor = {Kabanets, Valentine}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2021.1}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-142750}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2021.1}, annote = {Keywords: Locally decodable codes, Locally correctable codes} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 200, 36th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2021)

Weighted pseudorandom generators (WPRGs), introduced by Braverman, Cohen and Garg [Braverman et al., 2020], are a generalization of pseudorandom generators (PRGs) in which arbitrary real weights are considered, rather than a probability mass. Braverman et al. constructed WPRGs against read once branching programs (ROBPs) with near-optimal dependence on the error parameter. Chattopadhyay and Liao [Eshan Chattopadhyay and Jyun-Jie Liao, 2020] somewhat simplified the technically involved BCG construction, also obtaining some improvement in parameters.
In this work we devise an error reduction procedure for PRGs against ROBPs. More precisely, our procedure transforms any PRG against length n width w ROBP with error 1/poly(n) having seed length s to a WPRG with seed length s + O(logw/(ε) ⋅ log log1/(ε)). By instantiating our procedure with Nisan’s PRG [Noam Nisan, 1992] we obtain a WPRG with seed length O(log{n} ⋅ log(nw) + logw/(ε) ⋅ log log 1/(ε)). This improves upon [Braverman et al., 2020] and is incomparable with [Eshan Chattopadhyay and Jyun-Jie Liao, 2020].
Our construction is significantly simpler on the technical side and is conceptually cleaner. Another advantage of our construction is its low space complexity O(log{nw})+poly(log log1/(ε)) which is logarithmic in n for interesting values of the error parameter ε. Previous constructions (like [Braverman et al., 2020; Eshan Chattopadhyay and Jyun-Jie Liao, 2020]) specify the seed length but not the space complexity, though it is plausible they can also achieve such (or close) space complexity.

Gil Cohen, Dean Doron, Oren Renard, Ori Sberlo, and Amnon Ta-Shma. Error Reduction for Weighted PRGs Against Read Once Branching Programs. In 36th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 200, pp. 22:1-22:17, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{cohen_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2021.22, author = {Cohen, Gil and Doron, Dean and Renard, Oren and Sberlo, Ori and Ta-Shma, Amnon}, title = {{Error Reduction for Weighted PRGs Against Read Once Branching Programs}}, booktitle = {36th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2021)}, pages = {22:1--22:17}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-193-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {200}, editor = {Kabanets, Valentine}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2021.22}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-142963}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2021.22}, annote = {Keywords: Pseudorandom generators, Read once branching programs, Space-bounded computation} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 169, 35th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2020)

A tree code is an edge-coloring of the complete infinite binary tree such that every two nodes of equal depth have a fraction - bounded away from 0 - of mismatched colors between the corresponding paths to their least common ancestor. Tree codes were introduced in a seminal work by Schulman [Schulman, 1993] and serve as a key ingredient in almost all deterministic interactive coding schemes. The number of colors effects the coding scheme’s rate.
It is shown that 4 is precisely the least number of colors for which tree codes exist. Thus, tree-code-based coding schemes cannot achieve rate larger than 1/2. To overcome this barrier, a relaxed notion called palette-alternating tree codes is introduced, in which the number of colors can depend on the layer. We prove the existence of such constructs in which most layers use 2 colors - the bare minimum. The distance-rate tradeoff we obtain matches the Gilbert-Varshamov bound.
Based on palette-alternating tree codes, we devise a deterministic interactive coding scheme against adversarial errors that approaches capacity. To analyze our protocol, we prove a structural result on the location of failed communication-rounds induced by the error pattern enforced by the adversary. Our coding scheme is efficient given an explicit palette-alternating tree code and serves as an alternative to the scheme obtained by [R. Gelles et al., 2016].

Gil Cohen and Shahar Samocha. Palette-Alternating Tree Codes. In 35th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 169, pp. 11:1-11:29, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)

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@InProceedings{cohen_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2020.11, author = {Cohen, Gil and Samocha, Shahar}, title = {{Palette-Alternating Tree Codes}}, booktitle = {35th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2020)}, pages = {11:1--11:29}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-156-6}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2020}, volume = {169}, editor = {Saraf, Shubhangi}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2020.11}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-125632}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2020.11}, annote = {Keywords: Tree Codes, Coding Theory, Interactive Coding Scheme} }

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RANDOM

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 145, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2019)

In their seminal work, Chattopadhyay and Zuckerman (STOC'16) constructed a two-source extractor with error epsilon for n-bit sources having min-entropy {polylog}(n/epsilon). Unfortunately, the construction’s running-time is {poly}(n/epsilon), which means that with polynomial-time constructions, only polynomially-small errors are possible. Our main result is a {poly}(n,log(1/epsilon))-time computable two-source condenser. For any k >= {polylog}(n/epsilon), our condenser transforms two independent (n,k)-sources to a distribution over m = k-O(log(1/epsilon)) bits that is epsilon-close to having min-entropy m - o(log(1/epsilon)). Hence, achieving entropy gap of o(log(1/epsilon)).
The bottleneck for obtaining low error in recent constructions of two-source extractors lies in the use of resilient functions. Informally, this is a function that receives input bits from r players with the property that the function’s output has small bias even if a bounded number of corrupted players feed adversarial inputs after seeing the inputs of the other players. The drawback of using resilient functions is that the error cannot be smaller than ln r/r. This, in return, forces the running time of the construction to be polynomial in 1/epsilon.
A key component in our construction is a variant of resilient functions which we call entropy-resilient functions. This variant can be seen as playing the above game for several rounds, each round outputting one bit. The goal of the corrupted players is to reduce, with as high probability as they can, the min-entropy accumulated throughout the rounds. We show that while the bias decreases only polynomially with the number of players in a one-round game, their success probability decreases exponentially in the entropy gap they are attempting to incur in a repeated game.

Avraham Ben-Aroya, Gil Cohen, Dean Doron, and Amnon Ta-Shma. Two-Source Condensers with Low Error and Small Entropy Gap via Entropy-Resilient Functions. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 145, pp. 43:1-43:20, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{benaroya_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2019.43, author = {Ben-Aroya, Avraham and Cohen, Gil and Doron, Dean and Ta-Shma, Amnon}, title = {{Two-Source Condensers with Low Error and Small Entropy Gap via Entropy-Resilient Functions}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2019)}, pages = {43:1--43:20}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-125-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2019}, volume = {145}, editor = {Achlioptas, Dimitris and V\'{e}gh, L\'{a}szl\'{o} A.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2019.43}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-112587}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2019.43}, annote = {Keywords: Condensers, Extractors, Resilient functions, Explicit constructions} }

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

A non-malleable extractor is a seeded extractor with a very strong guarantee - the output of a non-malleable extractor obtained using a typical seed is close to uniform even conditioned on the output obtained using any other seed. The first contribution of this paper consists of two new and improved constructions of non-malleable extractors:
- We construct a non-malleable extractor with seed-length O(log(n) * log(log(n))) that works for entropy Omega(log(n)). This improves upon a recent exciting construction by Chattopadhyay, Goyal, and Li (STOC'16) that has seed length O(log^{2}(n)) and requires entropy Omega(log^{2}(n)).
- Secondly, we construct a non-malleable extractor with optimal seed length O(log(n)) for entropy n/log^{O(1)}(n). Prior to this construction, non-malleable extractors with a logarithmic seed length, due to Li (FOCS'12), required entropy 0.49*n. Even non-malleable condensers with seed length O(log(n)), by Li (STOC'12), could only support linear entropy.
We further devise several tools for enhancing a given non-malleable extractor in a black-box manner. One such tool is an algorithm that reduces the entropy requirement of a non-malleable extractor at the expense of a slightly longer seed. A second algorithm increases the output length of a non-malleable extractor from constant to linear in the entropy of the source. We also devise an algorithm that transforms a non-malleable extractor to the so-called t-non-malleable extractor for any desired t. Besides being useful building blocks for our constructions, we consider these modular tools to be of independent interest.

Gil Cohen. Non-Malleable Extractors - New Tools and Improved Constructions. In 31st Conference on Computational Complexity (CCC 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 50, pp. 8:1-8:29, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)

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@InProceedings{cohen:LIPIcs.CCC.2016.8, author = {Cohen, Gil}, title = {{Non-Malleable Extractors - New Tools and Improved Constructions}}, booktitle = {31st Conference on Computational Complexity (CCC 2016)}, pages = {8:1--8:29}, 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.2016.8}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-58348}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2016.8}, annote = {Keywords: extractors, non-malleable, explicit constructions} }

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

In this paper, two structural results concerning low degree polynomials over finite fields are given. The first states that over any finite field F, for any polynomial f on n variables with degree d > log(n)/10, there exists a subspace of F^n with dimension at least d n^(1/(d-1)) on which f is constant. This result is shown to be tight. Stated differently, a degree d polynomial cannot compute an affine disperser for dimension smaller than the stated dimension. Using a recursive argument, we obtain our second structural result, showing that any degree d polynomial f induces a partition of F^n to affine subspaces of dimension n^(1/(d-1)!), such that f is constant on each part.
We extend both structural results to more than one polynomial. We further prove an analog of the first structural result to sparse polynomials (with no restriction on the degree) and to functions that are close to low degree polynomials. We also consider the algorithmic aspect of the two structural results.
Our structural results have various applications, two of which are:
* Dvir [CC 2012] introduced the notion of extractors for varieties, and gave explicit constructions of such extractors over large fields. We show that over any finite field any affine extractor is also an extractor for varieties with related parameters. Our reduction also holds for dispersers, and we conclude that Shaltiel's affine disperser [FOCS 2011] is a disperser for varieties over the binary field.
* Ben-Sasson and Kopparty [SIAM J. C 2012] proved that any degree 3 affine disperser over a prime field is also an affine extractor with related parameters. Using our structural results, and based on the work of Kaufman and Lovett [FOCS 2008] and Haramaty and Shpilka [STOC 2010], we generalize this result to any constant degree.

Gil Cohen and Avishay Tal. Two Structural Results for Low Degree Polynomials and Applications. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 40, pp. 680-709, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2015)

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@InProceedings{cohen_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.680, author = {Cohen, Gil and Tal, Avishay}, title = {{Two Structural Results for Low Degree Polynomials and Applications}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2015)}, pages = {680--709}, 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.2015.680}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-53307}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2015.680}, annote = {Keywords: low degree polynomials, affine extractors, affine dispersers, extractors for varieties, dispersers for varieties} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 28, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014)

In the coin problem, one is given n independent flips of a coin that has bias b > 0 towards either Head or Tail. The goal is to decide which side the coin is biased towards, with high confidence. An optimal strategy for solving the coin problem is to apply the majority function on the n samples. This simple strategy works as long as b > c(1/sqrt n) for some constant c. However, computing majority is an impossible task for several natural computational models, such as bounded width read once branching programs and AC^0 circuits.
Brody and Verbin proved that a length n, width w read once branching program cannot solve the coin problem for b < O(1/(log n)^w). This result was tightened by Steinberger to O(1/(log n)^(w-2)). The coin problem in the model of AC^0 circuits was first studied by Shaltiel and Viola, and later by Aaronson who proved that a depth d size s Boolean circuit cannot solve the coin problem for b < O(1/(log s)^(d+2)).
This work has two contributions:
1. We strengthen Steinberger's result and show that any Santha-Vazirani source with bias b < O(1/(log n)^(w-2)) fools length n, width w read once branching programs. In other words, the strong independence assumption in the coin problem is completely redundant in the model of read once branching programs, assuming the bias remains small. That is, the exact same result holds for a much more general class of sources.
2. We tighten Aaronson's result and show that a depth d, size s Boolean circuit cannot solve the coin problem for b < O(1/(log s)^(d-1)). Moreover, our proof technique is different and we believe that it is simpler and more natural.

Gil Cohen, Anat Ganor, and Ran Raz. Two Sides of the Coin Problem. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 28, pp. 618-629, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2014)

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@InProceedings{cohen_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.618, author = {Cohen, Gil and Ganor, Anat and Raz, Ran}, title = {{Two Sides of the Coin Problem}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2014)}, pages = {618--629}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-939897-74-3}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2014}, volume = {28}, editor = {Jansen, Klaus and Rolim, Jos\'{e} and Devanur, Nikhil R. and Moore, Cristopher}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.618}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-47265}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2014.618}, annote = {Keywords: bounded depth circuits, read once branching programs, Santha-Vazirani sources, the coin problem} }

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