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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 300, 39th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2024)

We prove several new results about bounded uniform and small-bias distributions. A main message is that, small-bias, even perturbed with noise, does not fool several classes of tests better than bounded uniformity. We prove this for threshold tests, small-space algorithms, and small-depth circuits. In particular, we obtain small-bias distributions that
- achieve an optimal lower bound on their statistical distance to any bounded-uniform distribution. This closes a line of research initiated by Alon, Goldreich, and Mansour in 2003, and improves on a result by O'Donnell and Zhao.
- have heavier tail mass than the uniform distribution. This answers a question posed by several researchers including Bun and Steinke.
- rule out a popular paradigm for constructing pseudorandom generators, originating in a 1989 work by Ajtai and Wigderson. This again answers a question raised by several researchers. For branching programs, our result matches a bound by Forbes and Kelley. Our small-bias distributions above are symmetric. We show that the xor of any two symmetric small-bias distributions fools any bounded function. Hence our examples cannot be extended to the xor of two small-bias distributions, another popular paradigm whose power remains unknown. We also generalize and simplify the proof of a result of Bazzi.

Harm Derksen, Peter Ivanov, Chin Ho Lee, and Emanuele Viola. Pseudorandomness, Symmetry, Smoothing: I. In 39th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2024). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 300, pp. 18:1-18:27, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2024)

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@InProceedings{derksen_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2024.18, author = {Derksen, Harm and Ivanov, Peter and Lee, Chin Ho and Viola, Emanuele}, title = {{Pseudorandomness, Symmetry, Smoothing: I}}, booktitle = {39th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2024)}, pages = {18:1--18:27}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-331-7}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2024}, volume = {300}, editor = {Santhanam, Rahul}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2024.18}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-204144}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2024.18}, annote = {Keywords: pseudorandomness, k-wise uniform distributions, small-bias distributions, noise, symmetric tests, thresholds, Krawtchouk polynomials} }

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RANDOM

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 275, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2023)

We give new upper and lower bounds on the power of several restricted classes of arbitrary-order read-once branching programs (ROBPs) and standard-order ROBPs (SOBPs) that have received significant attention in the literature on pseudorandomness for space-bounded computation.
- Regular SOBPs of length n and width ⌊w(n+1)/2⌋ can exactly simulate general SOBPs of length n and width w, and moreover an n/2-o(n) blow-up in width is necessary for such a simulation. Our result extends and simplifies prior average-case simulations (Reingold, Trevisan, and Vadhan (STOC 2006), Bogdanov, Hoza, Prakriya, and Pyne (CCC 2022)), in particular implying that weighted pseudorandom generators (Braverman, Cohen, and Garg (SICOMP 2020)) for regular SOBPs of width poly(n) or larger automatically extend to general SOBPs. Furthermore, our simulation also extends to general (even read-many) oblivious branching programs.
- There exist natural functions computable by regular SOBPs of constant width that are average-case hard for permutation SOBPs of exponential width. Indeed, we show that Inner-Product mod 2 is average-case hard for arbitrary-order permutation ROBPs of exponential width.
- There exist functions computable by constant-width arbitrary-order permutation ROBPs that are worst-case hard for exponential-width SOBPs.
- Read-twice permutation branching programs of subexponential width can simulate polynomial-width arbitrary-order ROBPs.

Chin Ho Lee, Edward Pyne, and Salil Vadhan. On the Power of Regular and Permutation Branching Programs. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 275, pp. 44:1-44:22, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{lee_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2023.44, author = {Lee, Chin Ho and Pyne, Edward and Vadhan, Salil}, title = {{On the Power of Regular and Permutation Branching Programs}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2023)}, pages = {44:1--44:22}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-296-9}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2023}, volume = {275}, editor = {Megow, Nicole and Smith, Adam}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2023.44}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-188698}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2023.44}, annote = {Keywords: Pseudorandomness, Branching Programs} }

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RANDOM

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 245, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2022)

We analyze the Fourier growth, i.e. the L₁ Fourier weight at level k (denoted L_{1,k}), of read-once regular branching programs. We prove that every read-once regular branching program B of width w ∈ [1,∞] with s accepting states on n-bit inputs must have its L_{1,k} bounded by min{Pr[B(U_n) = 1](w-1)^k, s ⋅ O((n log n)/k)^{(k-1)/2}}. For any constant k, our result is tight up to constant factors for the AND function on w-1 bits, and is tight up to polylogarithmic factors for unbounded width programs. In particular, for k = 1 we have L_{1,1}(B) ≤ s, with no dependence on the width w of the program.
Our result gives new bounds on the coin problem and new pseudorandom generators (PRGs). Furthermore, we obtain an explicit generator for unordered permutation branching programs of unbounded width with a constant factor stretch, where no PRG was previously known.
Applying a composition theorem of Błasiok, Ivanov, Jin, Lee, Servedio and Viola (RANDOM 2021), we extend our results to "generalized group products," a generalization of modular sums and product tests.

Chin Ho Lee, Edward Pyne, and Salil Vadhan. Fourier Growth of Regular Branching Programs. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 245, pp. 2:1-2:21, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{lee_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2022.2, author = {Lee, Chin Ho and Pyne, Edward and Vadhan, Salil}, title = {{Fourier Growth of Regular Branching Programs}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2022)}, pages = {2:1--2:21}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-249-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {245}, editor = {Chakrabarti, Amit and Swamy, Chaitanya}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2022.2}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-171247}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2022.2}, annote = {Keywords: pseudorandomness, fourier analysis} }

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RANDOM

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

We analyze the Fourier growth, i.e. the L₁ Fourier weight at level k (denoted L_{1,k}), of various well-studied classes of "structured" m F₂-polynomials. This study is motivated by applications in pseudorandomness, in particular recent results and conjectures due to [Chattopadhyay et al., 2019; Chattopadhyay et al., 2019; Eshan Chattopadhyay et al., 2020] which show that upper bounds on Fourier growth (even at level k = 2) give unconditional pseudorandom generators.
Our main structural results on Fourier growth are as follows:
- We show that any symmetric degree-d m F₂-polynomial p has L_{1,k}(p) ≤ Pr [p = 1] ⋅ O(d)^k. This quadratically strengthens an earlier bound that was implicit in [Omer Reingold et al., 2013].
- We show that any read-Δ degree-d m F₂-polynomial p has L_{1,k}(p) ≤ Pr [p = 1] ⋅ (k Δ d)^{O(k)}.
- We establish a composition theorem which gives L_{1,k} bounds on disjoint compositions of functions that are closed under restrictions and admit L_{1,k} bounds.
Finally, we apply the above structural results to obtain new unconditional pseudorandom generators and new correlation bounds for various classes of m F₂-polynomials.

Jarosław Błasiok, Peter Ivanov, Yaonan Jin, Chin Ho Lee, Rocco A. Servedio, and Emanuele Viola. Fourier Growth of Structured 𝔽₂-Polynomials and Applications. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 207, pp. 53:1-53:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{blasiok_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2021.53, author = {B{\l}asiok, Jaros{\l}aw and Ivanov, Peter and Jin, Yaonan and Lee, Chin Ho and Servedio, Rocco A. and Viola, Emanuele}, title = {{Fourier Growth of Structured \mathbb{F}₂-Polynomials and Applications}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2021)}, pages = {53:1--53:20}, 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.2021.53}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-147462}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2021.53}, annote = {Keywords: Fourier analysis, Pseudorandomness, Fourier growth} }

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

We prove new results on the polarizing random walk framework introduced in recent works of Chattopadhyay et al. [Chattopadhyay et al., 2019; Eshan Chattopadhyay et al., 2019] that exploit L₁ Fourier tail bounds for classes of Boolean functions to construct pseudorandom generators (PRGs). We show that given a bound on the k-th level of the Fourier spectrum, one can construct a PRG with a seed length whose quality scales with k. This interpolates previous works, which either require Fourier bounds on all levels [Chattopadhyay et al., 2019], or have polynomial dependence on the error parameter in the seed length [Eshan Chattopadhyay et al., 2019], and thus answers an open question in [Eshan Chattopadhyay et al., 2019]. As an example, we show that for polynomial error, Fourier bounds on the first O(log n) levels is sufficient to recover the seed length in [Chattopadhyay et al., 2019], which requires bounds on the entire tail.
We obtain our results by an alternate analysis of fractional PRGs using Taylor’s theorem and bounding the degree-k Lagrange remainder term using multilinearity and random restrictions. Interestingly, our analysis relies only on the level-k unsigned Fourier sum, which is potentially a much smaller quantity than the L₁ notion in previous works. By generalizing a connection established in [Chattopadhyay et al., 2020], we give a new reduction from constructing PRGs to proving correlation bounds. Finally, using these improvements we show how to obtain a PRG for 𝔽₂ polynomials with seed length close to the state-of-the-art construction due to Viola [Emanuele Viola, 2009].

Eshan Chattopadhyay, Jason Gaitonde, Chin Ho Lee, Shachar Lovett, and Abhishek Shetty. Fractional Pseudorandom Generators from Any Fourier Level. In 36th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 200, pp. 10:1-10:24, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{chattopadhyay_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2021.10, author = {Chattopadhyay, Eshan and Gaitonde, Jason and Lee, Chin Ho and Lovett, Shachar and Shetty, Abhishek}, title = {{Fractional Pseudorandom Generators from Any Fourier Level}}, booktitle = {36th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2021)}, pages = {10:1--10:24}, 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.2021.10}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-142843}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2021.10}, annote = {Keywords: Derandomization, pseudorandomness, pseudorandom generators, Fourier analysis} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 185, 12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021)

In the trace reconstruction problem, an unknown source string x ∈ {0,1}ⁿ is transmitted through a probabilistic deletion channel which independently deletes each bit with some fixed probability δ and concatenates the surviving bits, resulting in a trace of x. The problem is to reconstruct x given access to independent traces. Trace reconstruction of arbitrary (worst-case) strings is a challenging problem, with the current state of the art for poly(n)-time algorithms being the 2004 algorithm of Batu et al. [T. Batu et al., 2004]. This algorithm can reconstruct an arbitrary source string x ∈ {0,1}ⁿ in poly(n) time provided that the deletion rate δ satisfies δ ≤ n^{-(1/2 + ε)} for some ε > 0.
In this work we improve on the result of [T. Batu et al., 2004] by giving a poly(n)-time algorithm for trace reconstruction for any deletion rate δ ≤ n^{-(1/3 + ε)}. Our algorithm works by alternating an alignment-based procedure, which we show effectively reconstructs portions of the source string that are not "highly repetitive", with a novel procedure that efficiently determines the length of highly repetitive subwords of the source string.

Xi Chen, Anindya De, Chin Ho Lee, Rocco A. Servedio, and Sandip Sinha. Polynomial-Time Trace Reconstruction in the Low Deletion Rate Regime. In 12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 185, pp. 20:1-20:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{chen_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.20, author = {Chen, Xi and De, Anindya and Lee, Chin Ho and Servedio, Rocco A. and Sinha, Sandip}, title = {{Polynomial-Time Trace Reconstruction in the Low Deletion Rate Regime}}, booktitle = {12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021)}, pages = {20:1--20:20}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-177-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {185}, editor = {Lee, James R.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.20}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-135595}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.20}, annote = {Keywords: trace reconstruction} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 137, 34th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2019)

We study the Fourier spectrum of functions f : {0,1}^{mk} -> {-1,0,1} which can be written as a product of k Boolean functions f_i on disjoint m-bit inputs. We prove that for every positive integer d, sum_{S subseteq [mk]: |S|=d} |hat{f_S}| = O(min{m, sqrt{m log(2k)}})^d . Our upper bounds are tight up to a constant factor in the O(*). Our proof uses Schur-convexity, and builds on a new "level-d inequality" that bounds above sum_{|S|=d} hat{f_S}^2 for any [0,1]-valued function f in terms of its expectation, which may be of independent interest.
As a result, we construct pseudorandom generators for such functions with seed length O~(m + log(k/epsilon)), which is optimal up to polynomial factors in log m, log log k and log log(1/epsilon). Our generator in particular works for the well-studied class of combinatorial rectangles, where in addition we allow the bits to be read in any order. Even for this special case, previous generators have an extra O~(log(1/epsilon)) factor in their seed lengths.
We also extend our results to functions f_i whose range is [-1,1].

Chin Ho Lee. Fourier Bounds and Pseudorandom Generators for Product Tests. In 34th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 137, pp. 7:1-7:25, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{lee:LIPIcs.CCC.2019.7, author = {Lee, Chin Ho}, title = {{Fourier Bounds and Pseudorandom Generators for Product Tests}}, booktitle = {34th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2019)}, pages = {7:1--7:25}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-116-0}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2019}, volume = {137}, editor = {Shpilka, Amir}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2019.7}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-108296}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2019.7}, annote = {Keywords: bounded independence plus noise, Fourier spectrum, product test, pseudorandom generators} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 79, 32nd Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2017)

Let D be a b-wise independent distribution over {0,1}^m. Let E be the "noise" distribution over {0,1}^m where the bits are independent and each bit is 1 with probability eta/2. We study which tests f: {0,1}^m -> [-1,1] are epsilon-fooled by D+E, i.e., |E[f(D+E)] - E[f(U)]| <= epsilon where U is the uniform distribution.
We show that D+E epsilon-fools product tests f: ({0,1}^n)^k -> [-1,1] given by the product of k bounded functions on disjoint n-bit inputs with error epsilon = k(1-eta)^{Omega(b^2/m)}, where m = nk and b >= n. This bound is tight when b = Omega(m) and eta >= (log k)/m. For b >= m^{2/3} log m and any constant eta the distribution D+E also 0.1-fools log-space algorithms.
We develop two applications of this type of results. First, we prove communication lower bounds for decoding noisy codewords of length m split among k parties. For Reed-Solomon codes of dimension m/k where k = O(1), communication Omega(eta m) - O(log m) is required to decode one message symbol from a codeword with eta m errors, and communication O(eta m log m) suffices. Second, we obtain pseudorandom generators. We can epsilon-fool product tests f: ({0,1}^n)^k -> [-1,1] under any permutation of the bits with seed lengths 2n + O~(k^2 log(1/epsilon)) and O(n) + O~(sqrt{nk log 1/epsilon}). Previous generators have seed lengths >= nk/2 or >= n sqrt{n k}. For the special case where the k bounded functions have range {0,1} the previous generators have seed length >= (n+log k)log(1/epsilon).

Elad Haramaty, Chin Ho Lee, and Emanuele Viola. Bounded Independence Plus Noise Fools Products. In 32nd Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 79, pp. 14:1-14:30, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{haramaty_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2017.14, author = {Haramaty, Elad and Lee, Chin Ho and Viola, Emanuele}, title = {{Bounded Independence Plus Noise Fools Products}}, booktitle = {32nd Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2017)}, pages = {14:1--14:30}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-040-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2017}, volume = {79}, editor = {O'Donnell, Ryan}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2017.14}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-75188}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2017.14}, annote = {Keywords: ounded independence, Noise, Product tests, Error-correcting codes, Pseudorandomness} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 60, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2016)

Let k = k(n) be the largest integer such that there exists a k-wise uniform distribution over {0,1}^n that is supported on the set S_m := {x in {0,1}^n: sum_i x_i equiv 0 mod m}, where m is any integer. We show that Omega(n/m^2 log m) <= k <= 2n/m + 2. For k = O(n/m) we also show that any k-wise uniform distribution puts probability mass at most 1/m + 1/100 over S_m. For any fixed odd m there is k \ge (1 - Omega(1))n such that any k-wise uniform distribution lands in S_m with probability exponentially close to |S_m|/2^n; and this result is false for any even m.

Ravi Boppana, Johan Håstad, Chin Ho Lee, and Emanuele Viola. Bounded Independence vs. Moduli. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 60, pp. 24:1-24:9, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)

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@InProceedings{boppana_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2016.24, author = {Boppana, Ravi and H\r{a}stad, Johan and Lee, Chin Ho and Viola, Emanuele}, title = {{Bounded Independence vs. Moduli}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2016)}, pages = {24:1--24:9}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-018-7}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2016}, volume = {60}, editor = {Jansen, Klaus and Mathieu, Claire and Rolim, Jos\'{e} D. P. and Umans, Chris}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2016.24}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-66475}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2016.24}, annote = {Keywords: Bounded independence, Modulus} }