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

Rossman [In Proc. 34th Comput. Complexity Conf., 2019] introduced the notion of criticality. The criticality of a Boolean function f : {0,1}ⁿ → {0,1} is the minimum λ ≥ 1 such that for all positive integers t and all p ∈ [0,1], Pr_{ρ∼ℛ_p}[DT_{depth}(f|_ρ) ≥ t] ≤ (pλ)^t, where ℛ_p refers to the distribution of p-random restrictions.
Håstad’s celebrated switching lemma shows that the criticality of any k-DNF is at most O(k). Subsequent improvements to correlation bounds of AC⁰-circuits against parity showed that the criticality of any AC⁰-circuit of size S and depth d+1 is at most O(log S)^d and any regular AC⁰-formula of size S and depth d+1 is at most O((1/d)⋅log S)^d. We strengthen these results by showing that the criticality of any AC⁰-formula (not necessarily regular) of size S and depth d+1 is at most O((log S)/d)^d, resolving a conjecture due to Rossman.
This result also implies Rossman’s optimal lower bound on the size of any depth-d AC⁰-formula computing parity [Comput. Complexity, 27(2):209-223, 2018.]. Our result implies tight correlation bounds against parity, tight Fourier concentration results and improved #SAT algorithm for AC⁰-formulae.

Prahladh Harsha, Tulasimohan Molli, and Ashutosh Shankar. Criticality of AC⁰-Formulae. In 38th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 264, pp. 19:1-19:24, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{harsha_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2023.19, author = {Harsha, Prahladh and Molli, Tulasimohan and Shankar, Ashutosh}, title = {{Criticality of AC⁰-Formulae}}, booktitle = {38th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2023)}, pages = {19:1--19:24}, 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.2023.19}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-182898}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2023.19}, annote = {Keywords: AC⁰ circuits, AC⁰ formulae, criticality, switching lemma, correlation bounds} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 213, 41st IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2021)

Chang’s lemma (Duke Mathematical Journal, 2002) is a classical result in mathematics, with applications spanning across additive combinatorics, combinatorial number theory, analysis of Boolean functions, communication complexity and algorithm design. For a Boolean function f that takes values in {-1, 1} let r(f) denote its Fourier rank (i.e., the dimension of the span of its Fourier support). For each positive threshold t, Chang’s lemma provides a lower bound on δ(f) := Pr[f(x) = -1] in terms of the dimension of the span of its characters with Fourier coefficients of magnitude at least 1/t. In this work we examine the tightness of Chang’s lemma with respect to the following three natural settings of the threshold:
- the Fourier sparsity of f, denoted k(f),
- the Fourier max-supp-entropy of f, denoted k'(f), defined to be the maximum value of the reciprocal of the absolute value of a non-zero Fourier coefficient,
- the Fourier max-rank-entropy of f, denoted k''(f), defined to be the minimum t such that characters whose coefficients are at least 1/t in magnitude span a r(f)-dimensional space. In this work we prove new lower bounds on δ(f) in terms of the above measures. One of our lower bounds, δ(f) = Ω(r(f)²/(k(f) log² k(f))), subsumes and refines the previously best known upper bound r(f) = O(√{k(f)}log k(f)) on r(f) in terms of k(f) by Sanyal (Theory of Computing, 2019). We improve upon this bound and show r(f) = O(√{k(f)δ(f)}log k(f)). Another lower bound, δ(f) = Ω(r(f)/(k''(f) log k(f))), is based on our improvement of a bound by Chattopadhyay, Hatami, Lovett and Tal (ITCS, 2019) on the sum of absolute values of level-1 Fourier coefficients in terms of 𝔽₂-degree. We further show that Chang’s lemma for the above-mentioned choices of the threshold is asymptotically outperformed by our bounds for most settings of the parameters involved.
Next, we show that our bounds are tight for a wide range of the parameters involved, by constructing functions witnessing their tightness. All the functions we construct are modifications of the Addressing function, where we replace certain input variables by suitable functions. Our final contribution is to construct Boolean functions f for which our lower bounds asymptotically match δ(f), and for any choice of the threshold t, the lower bound obtained from Chang’s lemma is asymptotically smaller than δ(f).
Our results imply more refined deterministic one-way communication complexity upper bounds for XOR functions. Given the wide-ranging application of Chang’s lemma to areas like additive combinatorics, learning theory and communication complexity, we strongly feel that our refinements of Chang’s lemma will find many more applications.

Sourav Chakraborty, Nikhil S. Mande, Rajat Mittal, Tulasimohan Molli, Manaswi Paraashar, and Swagato Sanyal. Tight Chang’s-Lemma-Type Bounds for Boolean Functions. In 41st IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 213, pp. 10:1-10:22, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{chakraborty_et_al:LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2021.10, author = {Chakraborty, Sourav and Mande, Nikhil S. and Mittal, Rajat and Molli, Tulasimohan and Paraashar, Manaswi and Sanyal, Swagato}, title = {{Tight Chang’s-Lemma-Type Bounds for Boolean Functions}}, booktitle = {41st IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2021)}, pages = {10:1--10:22}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-215-0}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2021}, volume = {213}, editor = {Boja\'{n}czyk, Miko{\l}aj and Chekuri, Chandra}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2021.10}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-155215}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2021.10}, annote = {Keywords: Analysis of Boolean functions, Chang’s lemma, Parity decision trees, Fourier dimension} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 122, 38th IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2018)

We study the probabilistic degree over R of the OR function on n variables. For epsilon in (0,1/3), the epsilon-error probabilistic degree of any Boolean function f:{0,1}^n -> {0,1} over R is the smallest non-negative integer d such that the following holds: there exists a distribution of polynomials Pol in R[x_1,...,x_n] entirely supported on polynomials of degree at most d such that for all z in {0,1}^n, we have Pr_{P ~ Pol}[P(z) = f(z)] >= 1- epsilon. It is known from the works of Tarui (Theoret. Comput. Sci. 1993) and Beigel, Reingold, and Spielman (Proc. 6th CCC 1991), that the epsilon-error probabilistic degree of the OR function is at most O(log n * log(1/epsilon)). Our first observation is that this can be improved to O{log (n atop <= log(1/epsilon))}, which is better for small values of epsilon.
In all known constructions of probabilistic polynomials for the OR function (including the above improvement), the polynomials P in the support of the distribution Pol have the following special structure: P(x_1,...,x_n) = 1 - prod_{i in [t]} (1- L_i(x_1,...,x_n)), where each L_i(x_1,..., x_n) is a linear form in the variables x_1,...,x_n, i.e., the polynomial 1-P(bar{x}) is a product of affine forms. We show that the epsilon-error probabilistic degree of OR when restricted to polynomials of the above form is Omega(log (n over <= log(1/epsilon))/log^2 (log (n over <= log(1/epsilon))})), thus matching the above upper bound (up to polylogarithmic factors).

Siddharth Bhandari, Prahladh Harsha, Tulasimohan Molli, and Srikanth Srinivasan. On the Probabilistic Degree of OR over the Reals. In 38th IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 122, pp. 5:1-5:12, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)

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@InProceedings{bhandari_et_al:LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2018.5, author = {Bhandari, Siddharth and Harsha, Prahladh and Molli, Tulasimohan and Srinivasan, Srikanth}, title = {{On the Probabilistic Degree of OR over the Reals}}, booktitle = {38th IARCS Annual Conference on Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2018)}, pages = {5:1--5:12}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-093-4}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2018}, volume = {122}, editor = {Ganguly, Sumit and Pandya, Paritosh}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2018.5}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-99044}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.FSTTCS.2018.5}, annote = {Keywords: Polynomials over reals, probabilistic polynomials, probabilistic degree, OR polynomial} }