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

Relativization is one of the most fundamental concepts in complexity theory, which explains the difficulty of resolving major open problems. In this paper, we propose a weaker notion of relativization called bounded relativization. For a complexity class ℭ, we say that a statement is ℭ-relativizing if the statement holds relative to every oracle 𝒪 ∈ ℭ. It is easy to see that every result that relativizes also ℭ-relativizes for every complexity class ℭ. On the other hand, we observe that many non-relativizing results, such as IP = PSPACE, are in fact PSPACE-relativizing.
First, we use the idea of bounded relativization to obtain new lower bound results, including the following nearly maximum circuit lower bound: for every constant ε > 0, BPE^{MCSP}/2^{εn} ⊈ SIZE[2ⁿ/n].
We prove this by PSPACE-relativizing the recent pseudodeterministic pseudorandom generator by Lu, Oliveira, and Santhanam (STOC 2021).
Next, we study the limitations of PSPACE-relativizing proof techniques, and show that a seemingly minor improvement over the known results using PSPACE-relativizing techniques would imply a breakthrough separation NP ≠ L. For example:
- Impagliazzo and Wigderson (JCSS 2001) proved that if EXP ≠ BPP, then BPP admits infinitely-often subexponential-time heuristic derandomization. We show that their result is PSPACE-relativizing, and that improving it to worst-case derandomization using PSPACE-relativizing techniques implies NP ≠ L.
- Oliveira and Santhanam (STOC 2017) recently proved that every dense subset in P admits an infinitely-often subexponential-time pseudodeterministic construction, which we observe is PSPACE-relativizing. Improving this to almost-everywhere (pseudodeterministic) or (infinitely-often) deterministic constructions by PSPACE-relativizing techniques implies NP ≠ L.
- Santhanam (SICOMP 2009) proved that pr-MA does not have fixed polynomial-size circuits. This lower bound can be shown PSPACE-relativizing, and we show that improving it to an almost-everywhere lower bound using PSPACE-relativizing techniques implies NP ≠ L.
In fact, we show that if we can use PSPACE-relativizing techniques to obtain the above-mentioned improvements, then PSPACE ≠ EXPH. We obtain our barrier results by constructing suitable oracles computable in EXPH relative to which these improvements are impossible.

Shuichi Hirahara, Zhenjian Lu, and Hanlin Ren. Bounded Relativization. In 38th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 264, pp. 6:1-6:45, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{hirahara_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2023.6, author = {Hirahara, Shuichi and Lu, Zhenjian and Ren, Hanlin}, title = {{Bounded Relativization}}, booktitle = {38th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2023)}, pages = {6:1--6:45}, 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.2023.6}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-182764}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2023.6}, annote = {Keywords: relativization, circuit lower bound, derandomization, explicit construction, pseudodeterministic algorithms, interactive proofs} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 234, 37th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2022)

Understanding the relationship between the worst-case and average-case complexities of NP and of other subclasses of PH is a long-standing problem in complexity theory. Over the last few years, much progress has been achieved in this front through the investigation of meta-complexity: the complexity of problems that refer to the complexity of the input string x (e.g., given a string x, estimate its time-bounded Kolmogorov complexity). In particular, [Shuichi Hirahara, 2021] employed techniques from meta-complexity to show that if DistNP ⊆ AvgP then UP ⊆ DTIME[2^{O(n/log n)}]. While this and related results [Shuichi Hirahara and Mikito Nanashima, 2021; Lijie Chen et al., 2022] offer exciting progress after a long gap, they do not survive in the setting of randomized computations: roughly speaking, "randomness" is the opposite of "structure", and upper bounding the amount of structure (time-bounded Kolmogorov complexity) of different objects is crucial in recent applications of meta-complexity. This limitation is significant, since randomized computations are ubiquitous in algorithm design and give rise to a more robust theory of average-case complexity [Russell Impagliazzo and Leonid A. Levin, 1990].
In this work, we develop a probabilistic theory of meta-complexity, by incorporating randomness into the notion of complexity of a string x. This is achieved through a new probabilistic variant of time-bounded Kolmogorov complexity that we call pK^t complexity. Informally, pK^t(x) measures the complexity of x when shared randomness is available to all parties involved in a computation. By porting key results from meta-complexity to the probabilistic domain of pK^t complexity and its variants, we are able to establish new connections between worst-case and average-case complexity in the important setting of probabilistic computations:
- If DistNP ⊆ AvgBPP, then UP ⊆ RTIME[2^O(n/log n)].
- If DistΣ^P_2 ⊆ AvgBPP, then AM ⊆ BPTIME[2^O(n/log n)].
- In the fine-grained setting [Lijie Chen et al., 2022], we get UTIME[2^O(√{nlog n})] ⊆ RTIME[2^O(√{nlog n})] and AMTIME[2^O(√{nlog n})] ⊆ BPTIME[2^O(√{nlog n})] from stronger average-case assumptions.
- If DistPH ⊆ AvgBPP, then PH ⊆ BPTIME[2^O(n/log n)]. Specifically, for any 𝓁 ≥ 0, if DistΣ_{𝓁+2}^P ⊆ AvgBPP then Σ_𝓁^{P} ⊆ BPTIME[2^O(n/log n)].
- Strengthening a result from [Shuichi Hirahara and Mikito Nanashima, 2021], we show that if DistNP ⊆ AvgBPP then polynomial size Boolean circuits can be agnostically PAC learned under any unknown 𝖯/poly-samplable distribution in polynomial time. In some cases, our framework allows us to significantly simplify existing proofs, or to extend results to the more challenging probabilistic setting with little to no extra effort.

Halley Goldberg, Valentine Kabanets, Zhenjian Lu, and Igor C. Oliveira. Probabilistic Kolmogorov Complexity with Applications to Average-Case Complexity. In 37th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 234, pp. 16:1-16:60, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{goldberg_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2022.16, author = {Goldberg, Halley and Kabanets, Valentine and Lu, Zhenjian and Oliveira, Igor C.}, title = {{Probabilistic Kolmogorov Complexity with Applications to Average-Case Complexity}}, booktitle = {37th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2022)}, pages = {16:1--16:60}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-241-9}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {234}, editor = {Lovett, Shachar}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2022.16}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-165785}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2022.16}, annote = {Keywords: average-case complexity, Kolmogorov complexity, meta-complexity, worst-case to average-case reductions, learning} }

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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 classical coding theorem in Kolmogorov complexity states that if an n-bit string x is sampled with probability δ by an algorithm with prefix-free domain then 𝖪(x) ≤ log(1/δ) + O(1). In a recent work, Lu and Oliveira [Zhenjian Lu and Igor C. Oliveira, 2021] established an unconditional time-bounded version of this result, by showing that if x can be efficiently sampled with probability δ then rKt(x) = O(log(1/δ)) + O(log n), where rKt denotes the randomized analogue of Levin’s Kt complexity. Unfortunately, this result is often insufficient when transferring applications of the classical coding theorem to the time-bounded setting, as it achieves a O(log(1/δ)) bound instead of the information-theoretic optimal log(1/δ).
Motivated by this discrepancy, we investigate optimal coding theorems in the time-bounded setting. Our main contributions can be summarised as follows.
• Efficient coding theorem for rKt with a factor of 2. Addressing a question from [Zhenjian Lu and Igor C. Oliveira, 2021], we show that if x can be efficiently sampled with probability at least δ then rKt(x) ≤ (2 + o(1)) ⋅ log(1/δ) + O(log n). As in previous work, our coding theorem is efficient in the sense that it provides a polynomial-time probabilistic algorithm that, when given x, the code of the sampler, and δ, it outputs, with probability ≥ 0.99, a probabilistic representation of x that certifies this rKt complexity bound.
• Optimality under a cryptographic assumption. Under a hypothesis about the security of cryptographic pseudorandom generators, we show that no efficient coding theorem can achieve a bound of the form rKt(x) ≤ (2 - o(1)) ⋅ log(1/δ) + poly(log n). Under a weaker assumption, we exhibit a gap between efficient coding theorems and existential coding theorems with near-optimal parameters.
• Optimal coding theorem for pK^t and unconditional Antunes-Fortnow. We consider pK^t complexity [Halley Goldberg et al., 2022], a variant of rKt where the randomness is public and the time bound is fixed. We observe the existence of an optimal coding theorem for pK^t, and employ this result to establish an unconditional version of a theorem of Antunes and Fortnow [Luis Filipe Coelho Antunes and Lance Fortnow, 2009] which characterizes the worst-case running times of languages that are in average polynomial-time over all 𝖯-samplable distributions.

Zhenjian Lu, Igor C. Oliveira, and Marius Zimand. Optimal Coding Theorems in Time-Bounded Kolmogorov Complexity. In 49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 229, pp. 92:1-92:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{lu_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.92, author = {Lu, Zhenjian and Oliveira, Igor C. and Zimand, Marius}, title = {{Optimal Coding Theorems in Time-Bounded Kolmogorov Complexity}}, booktitle = {49th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2022)}, pages = {92:1--92:14}, 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.2022.92}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-164331}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2022.92}, annote = {Keywords: computational complexity, randomized algorithms, Kolmogorov complexity} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 215, 13th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2022)

Comparator circuits are a natural circuit model for studying bounded fan-out computation whose power sits between nondeterministic branching programs and general circuits. Despite having been studied for nearly three decades, the first superlinear lower bound against comparator circuits was proved only recently by Gál and Robere (ITCS 2020), who established a Ω((n/log n)^{1.5}) lower bound on the size of comparator circuits computing an explicit function of n bits.
In this paper, we initiate the study of average-case complexity and circuit analysis algorithms for comparator circuits. Departing from previous approaches, we exploit the technique of shrinkage under random restrictions to obtain a variety of new results for this model. Among them, we show
- Average-case Lower Bounds. For every k = k(n) with k ≥ log n, there exists a polynomial-time computable function f_k on n bits such that, for every comparator circuit C with at most n^{1.5}/O(k⋅ √{log n}) gates, we have
Pr_{x ∈ {0,1}ⁿ} [C(x) = f_k(x)] ≤ 1/2 + 1/{2^{Ω(k)}}.
This average-case lower bound matches the worst-case lower bound of Gál and Robere by letting k = O(log n).
- #SAT Algorithms. There is an algorithm that counts the number of satisfying assignments of a given comparator circuit with at most n^{1.5}/O (k⋅ √{log n}) gates, in time 2^{n-k} · poly(n), for any k ≤ n/4. The running time is non-trivial (i.e., 2ⁿ/n^{ω(1)}) when k = ω(log n).
- Pseudorandom Generators and MCSP Lower Bounds. There is a pseudorandom generator of seed length s^{2/3+o(1)} that fools comparator circuits with s gates. Also, using this PRG, we obtain an n^{1.5-o(1)} lower bound for MCSP against comparator circuits.

Bruno P. Cavalar and Zhenjian Lu. Algorithms and Lower Bounds for Comparator Circuits from Shrinkage. In 13th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 215, pp. 34:1-34:21, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)

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@InProceedings{cavalar_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2022.34, author = {Cavalar, Bruno P. and Lu, Zhenjian}, title = {{Algorithms and Lower Bounds for Comparator Circuits from Shrinkage}}, booktitle = {13th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2022)}, pages = {34:1--34:21}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-217-4}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2022}, volume = {215}, editor = {Braverman, Mark}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2022.34}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-156303}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2022.34}, annote = {Keywords: comparator circuits, average-case complexity, satisfiability algorithms, pseudorandom generators} }

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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)

We develop a general framework that characterizes strong average-case lower bounds against circuit classes 𝒞 contained in NC¹, such as AC⁰[⊕] and ACC⁰. We apply this framework to show:
- Generic seed reduction: Pseudorandom generators (PRGs) against 𝒞 of seed length ≤ n -1 and error ε(n) = n^{-ω(1)} can be converted into PRGs of sub-polynomial seed length.
- Hardness under natural distributions: If 𝖤 (deterministic exponential time) is average-case hard against 𝒞 under some distribution, then 𝖤 is average-case hard against 𝒞 under the uniform distribution.
- Equivalence between worst-case and average-case hardness: Worst-case lower bounds against MAJ∘𝒞 for problems in 𝖤 are equivalent to strong average-case lower bounds against 𝒞. This can be seen as a certain converse to the Discriminator Lemma [Hajnal et al., JCSS'93].
These results were not known to hold for circuit classes that do not compute majority. Additionally, we prove that classical and recent approaches to worst-case lower bounds against ACC⁰ via communication lower bounds for NOF multi-party protocols [Håstad and Goldmann, CC'91; Razborov and Wigderson, IPL'93] and Torus polynomials degree lower bounds [Bhrushundi et al., ITCS'19] also imply strong average-case hardness against ACC⁰ under the uniform distribution.
Crucial to these results is the use of non-black-box hardness amplification techniques and the interplay between Majority (MAJ) and Approximate Linear Sum (SUM̃) gates. Roughly speaking, while a MAJ gate outputs 1 when the sum of the m input bits is at least m/2, a SUM̃ gate computes a real-valued bounded weighted sum of the input bits and outputs 1 (resp. 0) if the sum is close to 1 (resp. close to 0), with the promise that one of the two cases always holds. As part of our framework, we explore ideas introduced in [Chen and Ren, STOC'20] to show that, for the purpose of proving lower bounds, a top layer MAJ gate is equivalent to a (weaker) SUM̃ gate. Motivated by this result, we extend the algorithmic method and establish stronger lower bounds against bounded-depth circuits with layers of MAJ and SUM̃ gates. Among them, we prove that:
- Lower bound: NQP does not admit fixed quasi-polynomial size MAJ∘SUM̃∘ACC⁰∘THR circuits.
This is the first explicit lower bound against circuits with distinct layers of MAJ, SUM̃, and THR gates. Consequently, if the aforementioned equivalence between MAJ and SUM̃ as a top gate can be extended to intermediate layers, long sought-after lower bounds against the class THR∘THR of depth-2 polynomial-size threshold circuits would follow.

Lijie Chen, Zhenjian Lu, Xin Lyu, and Igor C. Oliveira. Majority vs. Approximate Linear Sum and Average-Case Complexity Below NC¹. In 48th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 198, pp. 51:1-51:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{chen_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2021.51, author = {Chen, Lijie and Lu, Zhenjian and Lyu, Xin and Oliveira, Igor C.}, title = {{Majority vs. Approximate Linear Sum and Average-Case Complexity Below NC¹}}, booktitle = {48th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2021)}, pages = {51:1--51:20}, 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.2021.51}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-141202}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2021.51}, annote = {Keywords: circuit complexity, average-case hardness, complexity lower bounds} }

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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)

A probabilistic representation of a string x ∈ {0,1}ⁿ is given by the code of a randomized algorithm that outputs x with high probability [Igor C. Oliveira, 2019]. We employ probabilistic representations to establish the first unconditional Coding Theorem in time-bounded Kolmogorov complexity. More precisely, we show that if a distribution ensemble 𝒟_m can be uniformly sampled in time T(m) and generates a string x ∈ {0,1}^* with probability at least δ, then x admits a time-bounded probabilistic representation of complexity O(log(1/δ) + log (T) + log(m)). Under mild assumptions, a representation of this form can be computed from x and the code of the sampler in time polynomial in n = |x|.
We derive consequences of this result relevant to the study of data compression, pseudodeterministic algorithms, time hierarchies for sampling distributions, and complexity lower bounds. In particular, we describe an instance-based search-to-decision reduction for Levin’s Kt complexity [Leonid A. Levin, 1984] and its probabilistic analogue rKt [Igor C. Oliveira, 2019]. As a consequence, if a string x admits a succinct time-bounded representation, then a near-optimal representation can be generated from x with high probability in polynomial time. This partially addresses in a time-bounded setting a question from [Leonid A. Levin, 1984] on the efficiency of computing an optimal encoding of a string.

Zhenjian Lu and Igor C. Oliveira. An Efficient Coding Theorem via Probabilistic Representations and Its Applications. In 48th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 198, pp. 94:1-94:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{lu_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2021.94, author = {Lu, Zhenjian and Oliveira, Igor C.}, title = {{An Efficient Coding Theorem via Probabilistic Representations and Its Applications}}, booktitle = {48th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2021)}, pages = {94:1--94:20}, 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.2021.94}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-141630}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2021.94}, annote = {Keywords: computational complexity, randomized algorithms, Kolmogorov complexity} }

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

The class 𝖥𝖮𝖱𝖬𝖴𝖫𝖠[s]∘𝒢 consists of Boolean functions computable by size-s de Morgan formulas whose leaves are any Boolean functions from a class 𝒢. We give lower bounds and (SAT, Learning, and PRG) algorithms for FORMULA[n^{1.99}]∘𝒢, for classes 𝒢 of functions with low communication complexity. Let R^(k)(𝒢) be the maximum k-party number-on-forehead randomized communication complexity of a function in 𝒢. Among other results, we show that:
- The Generalized Inner Product function 𝖦𝖨𝖯^k_n cannot be computed in 𝖥𝖮𝖱𝖬𝖴𝖫𝖠[s]∘𝒢 on more than 1/2+ε fraction of inputs for s = o(n²/{(k⋅4^k⋅R^(k)(𝒢)⋅log (n/ε)⋅log(1/ε))²}). This significantly extends the lower bounds against bipartite formulas obtained by [Avishay Tal, 2017]. As a corollary, we get an average-case lower bound for 𝖦𝖨𝖯^k_n against 𝖥𝖮𝖱𝖬𝖴𝖫𝖠[n^{1.99}]∘𝖯𝖳𝖥^{k-1}, i.e., sub-quadratic-size de Morgan formulas with degree-(k-1) PTF (polynomial threshold function) gates at the bottom.
- There is a PRG of seed length n/2 + O(√s⋅R^(2)(𝒢)⋅log(s/ε)⋅log(1/ε)) that ε-fools FORMULA[s]∘𝒢. For the special case of FORMULA[s]∘𝖫𝖳𝖥, i.e., size-s formulas with LTF (linear threshold function) gates at the bottom, we get the better seed length O(n^{1/2}⋅s^{1/4}⋅log(n)⋅log(n/ε)). In particular, this provides the first non-trivial PRG (with seed length o(n)) for intersections of n half-spaces in the regime where ε ≤ 1/n, complementing a recent result of [Ryan O'Donnell et al., 2019].
- There exists a randomized 2^{n-t}-time #SAT algorithm for 𝖥𝖮𝖱𝖬𝖴𝖫𝖠[s]∘𝒢, where t = Ω(n/{√s⋅log²(s)⋅R^(2)(𝒢)})^{1/2}. In particular, this implies a nontrivial #SAT algorithm for 𝖥𝖮𝖱𝖬𝖴𝖫𝖠[n^1.99]∘𝖫𝖳𝖥.
- The Minimum Circuit Size Problem is not in 𝖥𝖮𝖱𝖬𝖴𝖫𝖠[n^1.99]∘𝖷𝖮𝖱; thereby making progress on hardness magnification, in connection with results from [Igor Carboni Oliveira et al., 2019; Lijie Chen et al., 2019]. On the algorithmic side, we show that the concept class 𝖥𝖮𝖱𝖬𝖴𝖫𝖠[n^1.99]∘𝖷𝖮𝖱 can be PAC-learned in time 2^O(n/log n).

Valentine Kabanets, Sajin Koroth, Zhenjian Lu, Dimitrios Myrisiotis, and Igor C. Oliveira. Algorithms and Lower Bounds for De Morgan Formulas of Low-Communication Leaf Gates. In 35th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 169, pp. 15:1-15:41, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)

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@InProceedings{kabanets_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2020.15, author = {Kabanets, Valentine and Koroth, Sajin and Lu, Zhenjian and Myrisiotis, Dimitrios and Oliveira, Igor C.}, title = {{Algorithms and Lower Bounds for De Morgan Formulas of Low-Communication Leaf Gates}}, booktitle = {35th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2020)}, pages = {15:1--15:41}, 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.2020.15}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-125673}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2020.15}, annote = {Keywords: de Morgan formulas, circuit lower bounds, satisfiability (SAT), pseudorandom generators (PRGs), learning, communication complexity, polynomial threshold functions (PTFs), parities} }

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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 132, 46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2019)

The Minimum Circuit Size Problem (MCSP) asks if a given truth table of a Boolean function f can be computed by a Boolean circuit of size at most theta, for a given parameter theta. We improve several circuit lower bounds for MCSP, using pseudorandom generators (PRGs) that are local; a PRG is called local if its output bit strings, when viewed as the truth table of a Boolean function, can be computed by a Boolean circuit of small size. We get new and improved lower bounds for MCSP that almost match the best-known lower bounds against several circuit models. Specifically, we show that computing MCSP, on functions with a truth table of length N, requires
- N^{3-o(1)}-size de Morgan formulas, improving the recent N^{2-o(1)} lower bound by Hirahara and Santhanam (CCC, 2017),
- N^{2-o(1)}-size formulas over an arbitrary basis or general branching programs (no non-trivial lower bound was known for MCSP against these models), and
- 2^{Omega (N^{1/(d+2.01)})}-size depth-d AC^0 circuits, improving the superpolynomial lower bound by Allender et al. (SICOMP, 2006).
The AC^0 lower bound stated above matches the best-known AC^0 lower bound (for PARITY) up to a small additive constant in the depth. Also, for the special case of depth-2 circuits (i.e., CNFs or DNFs), we get an almost optimal lower bound of 2^{N^{1-o(1)}} for MCSP.

Mahdi Cheraghchi, Valentine Kabanets, Zhenjian Lu, and Dimitrios Myrisiotis. Circuit Lower Bounds for MCSP from Local Pseudorandom Generators. In 46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 132, pp. 39:1-39:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{cheraghchi_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2019.39, author = {Cheraghchi, Mahdi and Kabanets, Valentine and Lu, Zhenjian and Myrisiotis, Dimitrios}, title = {{Circuit Lower Bounds for MCSP from Local Pseudorandom Generators}}, booktitle = {46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2019)}, pages = {39:1--39:14}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-109-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2019}, volume = {132}, editor = {Baier, Christel and Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis and Flocchini, Paola and Leonardi, Stefano}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2019.39}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-106156}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2019.39}, annote = {Keywords: minimum circuit size problem (MCSP), circuit lower bounds, pseudorandom generators (PRGs), local PRGs, de Morgan formulas, branching programs, constant depth circuits} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 116, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018)

A polynomial threshold function (PTF) is defined as the sign of a polynomial p : {0,1}^n ->R. A PTF circuit is a Boolean circuit whose gates are PTFs. We study the problems of exact and (promise) approximate counting for PTF circuits of constant depth.
- Satisfiability (#SAT). We give the first zero-error randomized algorithm faster than exhaustive search that counts the number of satisfying assignments of a given constant-depth circuit with a super-linear number of wires whose gates are s-sparse PTFs, for s almost quadratic in the input size of the circuit; here a PTF is called s-sparse if its underlying polynomial has at most s monomials. More specifically, we show that, for any large enough constant c, given a depth-d circuit with (n^{2-1/c})-sparse PTF gates that has at most n^{1+epsilon_d} wires, where epsilon_d depends only on c and d, the number of satisfying assignments of the circuit can be computed in randomized time 2^{n-n^{epsilon_d}} with zero error. This generalizes the result by Chen, Santhanam and Srinivasan (CCC, 2016) who gave a SAT algorithm for constant-depth circuits of super-linear wire complexity with linear threshold function (LTF) gates only.
- Quantified derandomization. The quantified derandomization problem, introduced by Goldreich and Wigderson (STOC, 2014), asks to compute the majority value of a given Boolean circuit, under the promise that the minority-value inputs to the circuit are very few. We give a quantified derandomization algorithm for constant-depth PTF circuits with a super-linear number of wires that runs in quasi-polynomial time. More specifically, we show that for any sufficiently large constant c, there is an algorithm that, given a degree-Delta PTF circuit C of depth d with n^{1+1/c^d} wires such that C has at most 2^{n^{1-1/c}} minority-value inputs, runs in quasi-polynomial time exp ((log n)^{O (Delta^2)}) and determines the majority value of C. (We obtain a similar quantified derandomization result for PTF circuits with n^{Delta}-sparse PTF gates.) This extends the recent result of Tell (STOC, 2018) for constant-depth LTF circuits of super-linear wire complexity.
- Pseudorandom generators. We show how the classical Nisan-Wigderson (NW) generator (JCSS, 1994) yields a nontrivial pseudorandom generator for PTF circuits (of unrestricted depth) with sub-linearly many gates. As a corollary, we get a PRG for degree-Delta PTFs with the seed length exp (sqrt{Delta * log n})* log^2(1/epsilon).

Valentine Kabanets and Zhenjian Lu. Satisfiability and Derandomization for Small Polynomial Threshold Circuits. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 116, pp. 46:1-46:19, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)

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@InProceedings{kabanets_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.46, author = {Kabanets, Valentine and Lu, Zhenjian}, title = {{Satisfiability and Derandomization for Small Polynomial Threshold Circuits}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2018)}, pages = {46:1--46:19}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-085-9}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2018}, volume = {116}, editor = {Blais, Eric and Jansen, Klaus and D. P. Rolim, Jos\'{e} and Steurer, David}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.46}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-94507}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2018.46}, annote = {Keywords: constant-depth circuits, polynomial threshold functions, circuit analysis algorithms, SAT, derandomization, quantified derandomization, pseudorandom generators.} }

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