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Track A: Algorithms, Complexity and Games

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 261, 50th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2023)

We give the first pseudorandom generators with sub-linear seed length for the following variants of read-once branching programs (roBPs):
1) First, we show there is an explicit PRG of seed length O(log²(n/ε)log(n)) fooling unbounded-width unordered permutation branching programs with a single accept state, where n is the length of the program. Previously, [Lee-Pyne-Vadhan RANDOM 2022] gave a PRG with seed length Ω(n) for this class. For the ordered case, [Hoza-Pyne-Vadhan ITCS 2021] gave a PRG with seed length Õ(log n ⋅ log 1/ε).
2) Second, we show there is an explicit PRG fooling unbounded-width unordered regular branching programs with a single accept state with seed length Õ(√{n ⋅ log 1/ε} + log 1/ε). Previously, no non-trivial PRG (with seed length less than n) was known for this class (even in the ordered setting). For the ordered case, [Bogdanov-Hoza-Prakriya-Pyne CCC 2022] gave an HSG with seed length Õ(log n ⋅ log 1/ε).
3) Third, we show there is an explicit PRG fooling width w adaptive branching programs with seed length O(log n ⋅ log² (nw/ε)). Here, the branching program can choose an input bit to read depending on its current state, while it is guaranteed that on any input x ∈ {0,1}ⁿ, the branching program reads each input bit exactly once. Previously, no PRG with a non-trivial seed length is known for this class.
We remark that there are some functions computable by constant-width adaptive branching programs but not by sub-exponential-width unordered branching programs.
In terms of techniques, we indeed show that the Forbes-Kelly PRG (with the right parameters) from [Forbes-Kelly FOCS 2018] already fools all variants of roBPs above. Our proof adds several new ideas to the original analysis of Forbes-Kelly, and we believe it further demonstrates the versatility of the Forbes-Kelly PRG.

Lijie Chen, Xin Lyu, Avishay Tal, and Hongxun Wu. New PRGs for Unbounded-Width/Adaptive-Order Read-Once Branching Programs. In 50th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 261, pp. 39:1-39:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{chen_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2023.39, author = {Chen, Lijie and Lyu, Xin and Tal, Avishay and Wu, Hongxun}, title = {{New PRGs for Unbounded-Width/Adaptive-Order Read-Once Branching Programs}}, booktitle = {50th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2023)}, pages = {39:1--39:20}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-278-5}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2023}, volume = {261}, editor = {Etessami, Kousha and Feige, Uriel and Puppis, Gabriele}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2023.39}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-180916}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2023.39}, annote = {Keywords: pseudorandom generators, derandomization, read-once branching programs} }

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RANDOM

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

Motivated by the derandomization of space-bounded computation, there has been a long line of work on constructing pseudorandom generators (PRGs) against various forms of read-once branching programs (ROBPs), with a goal of improving the O(log² n) seed length of Nisan’s classic construction [Noam Nisan, 1992] to the optimal O(log n).
In this work, we construct an explicit PRG with seed length Õ(log n) for constant-width ROBPs that are monotone, meaning that the states at each time step can be ordered so that edges with the same labels never cross each other. Equivalently, for each fixed input, the transition functions are a monotone function of the state. This result is complementary to a line of work that gave PRGs with seed length O(log n) for (ordered) permutation ROBPs of constant width [Braverman et al., 2014; Koucký et al., 2011; De, 2011; Thomas Steinke, 2012], since the monotonicity constraint can be seen as the "opposite" of the permutation constraint.
Our PRG also works for monotone ROBPs that can read the input bits in any order, which are strictly more powerful than read-once AC⁰. Our PRG achieves better parameters (in terms of the dependence on the depth of the circuit) than the best previous pseudorandom generator for read-once AC⁰, due to Doron, Hatami, and Hoza [Doron et al., 2019].
Our pseudorandom generator construction follows Ajtai and Wigderson’s approach of iterated pseudorandom restrictions [Ajtai and Wigderson, 1989; Gopalan et al., 2012]. We give a randomness-efficient width-reduction process which proves that the branching program simplifies to an O(log n)-junta after only O(log log n) independent applications of the Forbes-Kelley pseudorandom restrictions [Michael A. Forbes and Zander Kelley, 2018].

Dean Doron, Raghu Meka, Omer Reingold, Avishay Tal, and Salil Vadhan. Pseudorandom Generators for Read-Once Monotone Branching Programs. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 207, pp. 58:1-58:21, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{doron_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2021.58, author = {Doron, Dean and Meka, Raghu and Reingold, Omer and Tal, Avishay and Vadhan, Salil}, title = {{Pseudorandom Generators for Read-Once Monotone Branching Programs}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2021)}, pages = {58:1--58:21}, 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.2021.58}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-147513}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2021.58}, annote = {Keywords: Branching programs, pseudorandom generators, constant depth circuits} }

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

Leveraging tools of De, Mossel, and Neeman [FOCS, 2019], we show two different results pertaining to the tolerant testing of juntas. Given black-box access to a Boolean function f:{±1}ⁿ → {±1}:
1) We give a poly(k, 1/(ε)) query algorithm that distinguishes between functions that are γ-close to k-juntas and (γ+ε)-far from k'-juntas, where k' = O(k/(ε²)).
2) In the non-relaxed setting, we extend our ideas to give a 2^{Õ(√{k/ε})} (adaptive) query algorithm that distinguishes between functions that are γ-close to k-juntas and (γ+ε)-far from k-juntas. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first subexponential-in-k query algorithm for approximating the distance of f to being a k-junta (previous results of Blais, Canonne, Eden, Levi, and Ron [SODA, 2018] and De, Mossel, and Neeman [FOCS, 2019] required exponentially many queries in k). Our techniques are Fourier analytical and make use of the notion of "normalized influences" that was introduced by Talagrand [Michel Talagrand, 1994].

Vishnu Iyer, Avishay Tal, and Michael Whitmeyer. Junta Distance Approximation with Sub-Exponential Queries. In 36th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 200, pp. 24:1-24:38, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{iyer_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2021.24, author = {Iyer, Vishnu and Tal, Avishay and Whitmeyer, Michael}, title = {{Junta Distance Approximation with Sub-Exponential Queries}}, booktitle = {36th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2021)}, pages = {24:1--24:38}, 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.2021.24}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-142988}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2021.24}, annote = {Keywords: Algorithms, Complexity Theory, Fourier Analysis, Juntas, Normalized Influence, Property Testing, Tolerant Property Testing} }

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

We prove that for every parity decision tree of depth d on n variables, the sum of absolute values of Fourier coefficients at level 𝓁 is at most d^{𝓁/2} ⋅ O(𝓁 ⋅ log(n))^𝓁. Our result is nearly tight for small values of 𝓁 and extends a previous Fourier bound for standard decision trees by Sherstov, Storozhenko, and Wu (STOC, 2021).
As an application of our Fourier bounds, using the results of Bansal and Sinha (STOC, 2021), we show that the k-fold Forrelation problem has (randomized) parity decision tree complexity Ω̃(n^{1-1/k}), while having quantum query complexity ⌈ k/2⌉.
Our proof follows a random-walk approach, analyzing the contribution of a random path in the decision tree to the level-𝓁 Fourier expression. To carry the argument, we apply a careful cleanup procedure to the parity decision tree, ensuring that the value of the random walk is bounded with high probability. We observe that step sizes for the level-𝓁 walks can be computed by the intermediate values of level ≤ 𝓁-1 walks, which calls for an inductive argument. Our approach differs from previous proofs of Tal (FOCS, 2020) and Sherstov, Storozhenko, and Wu (STOC, 2021) that relied on decompositions of the tree. In particular, for the special case of standard decision trees we view our proof as slightly simpler and more intuitive.
In addition, we prove a similar bound for noisy decision trees of cost at most d - a model that was recently introduced by Ben-David and Blais (FOCS, 2020).

Uma Girish, Avishay Tal, and Kewen Wu. Fourier Growth of Parity Decision Trees. In 36th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 200, pp. 39:1-39:36, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{girish_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2021.39, author = {Girish, Uma and Tal, Avishay and Wu, Kewen}, title = {{Fourier Growth of Parity Decision Trees}}, booktitle = {36th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2021)}, pages = {39:1--39:36}, 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.2021.39}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-143137}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2021.39}, annote = {Keywords: Fourier analysis of Boolean functions, noisy decision tree, parity decision tree, query complexity} }

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

We study a new type of separations between quantum and classical communication complexity, separations that are obtained using quantum protocols where all parties are efficient, in the sense that they can be implemented by small quantum circuits, with oracle access to their inputs. Our main result qualitatively matches the strongest known separation between quantum and classical communication complexity [Dmitry Gavinsky, 2016] and is obtained using a quantum protocol where all parties are efficient. More precisely, we give an explicit partial Boolean function f over inputs of length N, such that:
(1) f can be computed by a simultaneous-message quantum protocol with communication complexity polylog(N) (where at the beginning of the protocol Alice and Bob also have polylog(N) entangled EPR pairs).
(2) Any classical randomized protocol for f, with any number of rounds, has communication complexity at least Ω̃(N^{1/4}).
(3) All parties in the quantum protocol of Item (1) (Alice, Bob and the referee) can be implemented by quantum circuits of size polylog(N) (where Alice and Bob have oracle access to their inputs).
Items (1), (2) qualitatively match the strongest known separation between quantum and classical communication complexity, proved by Gavinsky [Dmitry Gavinsky, 2016]. Item (3) is new. (Our result is incomparable to the one of Gavinsky. While he obtained a quantitatively better lower bound of Ω(N^{1/2}) in the classical case, the referee in his quantum protocol is inefficient).
Exponential separations of quantum and classical communication complexity have been studied in numerous previous works, but to the best of our knowledge the efficiency of the parties in the quantum protocol has not been addressed, and in most previous separations the quantum parties seem to be inefficient. The only separations that we know of that have efficient quantum parties are the recent separations that are based on lifting [Arkadev Chattopadhyay et al., 2019; Arkadev Chattopadhyay et al., 2019]. However, these separations seem to require quantum protocols with at least two rounds of communication, so they imply a separation of two-way quantum and classical communication complexity but they do not give the stronger separations of simultaneous-message quantum communication complexity vs. two-way classical communication complexity (or even one-way quantum communication complexity vs. two-way classical communication complexity).
Our proof technique is completely new, in the context of communication complexity, and is based on techniques from [Ran Raz and Avishay Tal, 2019]. Our function f is based on a lift of the forrelation problem, using xor as a gadget.

Uma Girish, Ran Raz, and Avishay Tal. Quantum Versus Randomized Communication Complexity, with Efficient Players. In 12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 185, pp. 54:1-54:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{girish_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.54, author = {Girish, Uma and Raz, Ran and Tal, Avishay}, title = {{Quantum Versus Randomized Communication Complexity, with Efficient Players}}, booktitle = {12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021)}, pages = {54:1--54:20}, 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.2021.54}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-135932}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.54}, annote = {Keywords: Exponential Separation, Quantum, Randomized, Communication, Complexity, Forrelation} }

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Extended Abstract

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

Håstad showed that any De Morgan formula (composed of AND, OR and NOT gates) shrinks by a factor of O(p²) under a random restriction that leaves each variable alive independently with probability p [SICOMP, 1998]. Using this result, he gave an Ω̃(n³) formula size lower bound for the Andreev function, which, up to lower order improvements, remains the state-of-the-art lower bound for any explicit function.
In this work, we extend the shrinkage result of Håstad to hold under a far wider family of random restrictions and their generalization - random projections. Based on our shrinkage results, we obtain an Ω̃(n³) formula size lower bound for an explicit function computed in AC⁰. This improves upon the best known formula size lower bounds for AC⁰, that were only quadratic prior to our work. In addition, we prove that the KRW conjecture [Karchmer et al., Computational Complexity 5(3/4), 1995] holds for inner functions for which the unweighted quantum adversary bound is tight. In particular, this holds for inner functions with a tight Khrapchenko bound.
Our random projections are tailor-made to the function’s structure so that the function maintains structure even under projection - using such projections is necessary, as standard random restrictions simplify AC⁰ circuits. In contrast, we show that any De Morgan formula shrinks by a quadratic factor under our random projections, allowing us to prove the cubic lower bound.
Our proof techniques build on the proof of Håstad for the simpler case of balanced formulas. This allows for a significantly simpler proof at the cost of slightly worse parameters. As such, when specialized to the case of p-random restrictions, our proof can be used as an exposition of Håstad’s result.

Yuval Filmus, Or Meir, and Avishay Tal. Shrinkage Under Random Projections, and Cubic Formula Lower Bounds for AC0 (Extended Abstract). In 12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 185, pp. 89:1-89:7, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)

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@InProceedings{filmus_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.89, author = {Filmus, Yuval and Meir, Or and Tal, Avishay}, title = {{Shrinkage Under Random Projections, and Cubic Formula Lower Bounds for AC0}}, booktitle = {12th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2021)}, pages = {89:1--89:7}, 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.2021.89}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-136281}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2021.89}, annote = {Keywords: De Morgan formulas, KRW Conjecture, shrinkage, random restrictions, random projections, bounded depth circuits, constant depth circuits, formula complexity} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 146, 33rd International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2019)

Radio networks can be a challenging platform for which to develop distributed algorithms, because the network nodes must contend for a shared channel. In some cases, though, the shared medium is an advantage rather than a disadvantage: for example, many radio network algorithms cleverly use the shared channel to approximate the degree of a node, or estimate the contention. In this paper we ask how far the inherent power of a shared radio channel goes, and whether it can efficiently compute "classicaly hard" functions such as Majority, Approximate Sum, and Parity.
Using techniques from circuit complexity, we show that in many cases, the answer is "no". We show that simple radio channels, such as the beeping model or the channel with collision-detection, can be approximated by a low-degree polynomial, which makes them subject to known lower bounds on functions such as Parity and Majority; we obtain round lower bounds of the form Omega(n^{delta}) on these functions, for delta in (0,1). Next, we use the technique of random restrictions, used to prove AC^0 lower bounds, to prove a tight lower bound of Omega(1/epsilon^2) on computing a (1 +/- epsilon)-approximation to the sum of the nodes' inputs. Our techniques are general, and apply to many types of radio channels studied in the literature.

Mark Braverman, Gillat Kol, Rotem Oshman, and Avishay Tal. On the Computational Power of Radio Channels. In 33rd International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 146, pp. 8:1-8:17, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{braverman_et_al:LIPIcs.DISC.2019.8, author = {Braverman, Mark and Kol, Gillat and Oshman, Rotem and Tal, Avishay}, title = {{On the Computational Power of Radio Channels}}, booktitle = {33rd International Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2019)}, pages = {8:1--8:17}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-126-9}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2019}, volume = {146}, editor = {Suomela, Jukka}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.DISC.2019.8}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-113152}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.DISC.2019.8}, annote = {Keywords: radio channel, lower bounds, approximate majority} }

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

A line of recent works showed that for a large class of learning problems, any learning algorithm requires either super-linear memory size or a super-polynomial number of samples [Raz, 2016; Kol et al., 2017; Raz, 2017; Moshkovitz and Moshkovitz, 2018; Beame et al., 2018; Garg et al., 2018]. For example, any algorithm for learning parities of size n requires either a memory of size Omega(n^{2}) or an exponential number of samples [Raz, 2016].
All these works modeled the learner as a one-pass branching program, allowing only one pass over the stream of samples. In this work, we prove the first memory-samples lower bounds (with a super-linear lower bound on the memory size and super-polynomial lower bound on the number of samples) when the learner is allowed two passes over the stream of samples. For example, we prove that any two-pass algorithm for learning parities of size n requires either a memory of size Omega(n^{1.5}) or at least 2^{Omega(sqrt{n})} samples.
More generally, a matrix M: A x X - > {-1,1} corresponds to the following learning problem: An unknown element x in X is chosen uniformly at random. A learner tries to learn x from a stream of samples, (a_1, b_1), (a_2, b_2) ..., where for every i, a_i in A is chosen uniformly at random and b_i = M(a_i,x).
Assume that k,l, r are such that any submatrix of M of at least 2^{-k} * |A| rows and at least 2^{-l} * |X| columns, has a bias of at most 2^{-r}. We show that any two-pass learning algorithm for the learning problem corresponding to M requires either a memory of size at least Omega (k * min{k,sqrt{l}}), or at least 2^{Omega(min{k,sqrt{l},r})} samples.

Sumegha Garg, Ran Raz, and Avishay Tal. Time-Space Lower Bounds for Two-Pass Learning. In 34th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 137, pp. 22:1-22:39, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{garg_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2019.22, author = {Garg, Sumegha and Raz, Ran and Tal, Avishay}, title = {{Time-Space Lower Bounds for Two-Pass Learning}}, booktitle = {34th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2019)}, pages = {22:1--22:39}, 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.2019.22}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-108446}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2019.22}, annote = {Keywords: branching program, time-space tradeoffs, two-pass streaming, PAC learning, lower bounds} }

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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)

Minimum Circuit Size Problem (MCSP) asks to decide if a given truth table of an n-variate boolean function has circuit complexity less than a given parameter s. We prove that MCSP is hard for constant-depth circuits with mod p gates, for any prime p >= 2 (the circuit class AC^0[p]). Namely, we show that MCSP requires d-depth AC^0[p] circuits of size at least exp(N^{0.49/d}), where N=2^n is the size of an input truth table of an n-variate boolean function. Our circuit lower bound proof shows that MCSP can solve the coin problem: distinguish uniformly random N-bit strings from those generated using independent samples from a biased random coin which is 1 with probability 1/2+N^{-0.49}, and 0 otherwise. Solving the coin problem with such parameters is known to require exponentially large AC^0[p] circuits. Moreover, this also implies that MAJORITY is computable by a non-uniform AC^0 circuit of polynomial size that also has MCSP-oracle gates. The latter has a few other consequences for the complexity of MCSP, e.g., we get that any boolean function in NC^1 (i.e., computable by a polynomial-size formula) can also be computed by a non-uniform polynomial-size AC^0 circuit with MCSP-oracle gates.

Alexander Golovnev, Rahul Ilango, Russell Impagliazzo, Valentine Kabanets, Antonina Kolokolova, and Avishay Tal. AC^0[p] Lower Bounds Against MCSP via the Coin Problem. In 46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 132, pp. 66:1-66:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{golovnev_et_al:LIPIcs.ICALP.2019.66, author = {Golovnev, Alexander and Ilango, Rahul and Impagliazzo, Russell and Kabanets, Valentine and Kolokolova, Antonina and Tal, Avishay}, title = {{AC^0\lbrackp\rbrack Lower Bounds Against MCSP via the Coin Problem}}, booktitle = {46th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2019)}, pages = {66:1--66:15}, 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.2019.66}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-106422}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2019.66}, annote = {Keywords: Minimum Circuit Size Problem (MCSP), circuit lower bounds, AC0\lbrackp\rbrack, coin problem, hybrid argument, MKTP, biased random boolean functions} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 124, 10th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2019)

A recent work of Chattopadhyay et al. (CCC 2018) introduced a new framework for the design of pseudorandom generators for Boolean functions. It works under the assumption that the Fourier tails of the Boolean functions are uniformly bounded for all levels by an exponential function. In this work, we design an alternative pseudorandom generator that only requires bounds on the second level of the Fourier tails. It is based on a derandomization of the work of Raz and Tal (ECCC 2018) who used the above framework to obtain an oracle separation between BQP and PH.
As an application, we give a concrete conjecture for bounds on the second level of the Fourier tails for low degree polynomials over the finite field F_2. If true, it would imply an efficient pseudorandom generator for AC^0[oplus], a well-known open problem in complexity theory. As a stepping stone towards resolving this conjecture, we prove such bounds for the first level of the Fourier tails.

Eshan Chattopadhyay, Pooya Hatami, Shachar Lovett, and Avishay Tal. Pseudorandom Generators from the Second Fourier Level and Applications to AC0 with Parity Gates. In 10th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 124, pp. 22:1-22:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{chattopadhyay_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.22, author = {Chattopadhyay, Eshan and Hatami, Pooya and Lovett, Shachar and Tal, Avishay}, title = {{Pseudorandom Generators from the Second Fourier Level and Applications to AC0 with Parity Gates}}, booktitle = {10th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2019)}, pages = {22:1--22:15}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-095-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2019}, volume = {124}, editor = {Blum, Avrim}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.22}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-101150}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.22}, annote = {Keywords: Derandomization, Pseudorandom generator, Explicit construction, Random walk, Small-depth circuits with parity gates} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 124, 10th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2019)

We define new functions based on the Andreev function and prove that they require n^{3}/polylog(n) formula size to compute. The functions we consider are generalizations of the Andreev function using compositions with the majority function. Our arguments apply to composing a hard function with any function that agrees with the majority function (or its negation) on the middle slices of the Boolean cube, as well as iterated compositions of such functions. As a consequence, we obtain n^{3}/polylog(n) lower bounds on the (non-monotone) formula size of an explicit monotone function by combining the monotone address function with the majority function.

Anna Gál, Avishay Tal, and Adrian Trejo Nuñez. Cubic Formula Size Lower Bounds Based on Compositions with Majority. In 10th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 124, pp. 35:1-35:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{gal_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.35, author = {G\'{a}l, Anna and Tal, Avishay and Trejo Nu\~{n}ez, Adrian}, title = {{Cubic Formula Size Lower Bounds Based on Compositions with Majority}}, booktitle = {10th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2019)}, pages = {35:1--35:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-095-8}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2019}, volume = {124}, editor = {Blum, Avrim}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.35}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-101283}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.35}, annote = {Keywords: formula lower bounds, random restrictions, KRW conjecture, composition} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 94, 9th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2018)

A Boolean function is said to have maximal sensitivity s if s is the largest number of Hamming neighbors of a point which differ from it in function value. We initiate the study of pseudorandom generators fooling low-sensitivity functions as an intermediate step towards settling the sensitivity conjecture. We construct a pseudorandom generator with seed-length 2^{O(s^{1/2})} log(n) that fools Boolean functions on n variables with maximal sensitivity at most s. Prior to our work, the (implicitly) best pseudorandom generators for this class of functions required seed-length 2^{O(s)} log(n).

Pooya Hatami and Avishay Tal. Pseudorandom Generators for Low Sensitivity Functions. In 9th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 94, pp. 29:1-29:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)

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@InProceedings{hatami_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2018.29, author = {Hatami, Pooya and Tal, Avishay}, title = {{Pseudorandom Generators for Low Sensitivity Functions}}, booktitle = {9th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2018)}, pages = {29:1--29:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-060-6}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2018}, volume = {94}, editor = {Karlin, Anna R.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2018.29}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-83300}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2018.29}, annote = {Keywords: Pseudorandom Generators, Sensitivity, Sensitivity Conjecture} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 67, 8th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2017)

We provide new query complexity separations against sensitivity for total Boolean functions: a power 3 separation between deterministic (and even randomized or quantum) query complexity and sensitivity, and a power 2.22 separation between certificate complexity and sensitivity. We get these separations by using a new connection between sensitivity and a seemingly unrelated measure called one-sided unambiguous certificate complexity. We also show that one-sided unambiguous certificate complexity is lower-bounded by fractional block sensitivity, which means we cannot use these techniques to get a super-quadratic separation between block sensitivity and sensitivity.
Along the way, we give a power 1.22 separation between certificate complexity and one-sided unambiguous certificate complexity, improving the power 1.128 separation due to Goos [FOCS 2015]. As a consequence, we obtain an improved lower-bound on the co-nondeterministic communication complexity of the Clique vs. Independent Set problem.

Shalev Ben-David, Pooya Hatami, and Avishay Tal. Low-Sensitivity Functions from Unambiguous Certificates. In 8th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 67, pp. 28:1-28:23, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{bendavid_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2017.28, author = {Ben-David, Shalev and Hatami, Pooya and Tal, Avishay}, title = {{Low-Sensitivity Functions from Unambiguous Certificates}}, booktitle = {8th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2017)}, pages = {28:1--28:23}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-029-3}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2017}, volume = {67}, editor = {Papadimitriou, Christos H.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2017.28}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-81869}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2017.28}, annote = {Keywords: Boolean functions, decision tree complexity, query complexity, sensitivity conjecture} }

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

A locally correctable code (LCC) is an error correcting code that allows correction of any arbitrary coordinate of a corrupted codeword by querying only a few coordinates. We show that any 2-query locally correctable code C:{0,1}^k -> Sigma^n that can correct a constant fraction of corrupted symbols must have n >= exp(k/\log|Sigma|) under the assumption that the LCC is zero-error. We say that an LCC is zero-error if there exists a non-adaptive corrector algorithm that succeeds with probability 1 when the input is an uncorrupted codeword. All known constructions of LCCs are zero-error.
Our result is tight upto constant factors in the exponent. The only previous lower bound on the length of 2-query LCCs over large alphabet was Omega((k/log|\Sigma|)^2) due to Katz and Trevisan (STOC 2000). Our bound implies that zero-error LCCs cannot yield 2-server private information retrieval (PIR) schemes with sub-polynomial communication. Since there exists a 2-server PIR scheme with sub-polynomial communication (STOC 2015) based on a zero-error 2-query locally decodable code (LDC), we also obtain a separation between LDCs and LCCs over large alphabet.

Arnab Bhattacharyya, Sivakanth Gopi, and Avishay Tal. Lower Bounds for 2-Query LCCs over Large Alphabet. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 81, pp. 30:1-30:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{bhattacharyya_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.30, author = {Bhattacharyya, Arnab and Gopi, Sivakanth and Tal, Avishay}, title = {{Lower Bounds for 2-Query LCCs over Large Alphabet}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2017)}, pages = {30:1--30:20}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-044-6}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2017}, volume = {81}, editor = {Jansen, Klaus and Rolim, Jos\'{e} D. P. and Williamson, David P. and Vempala, Santosh S.}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.30}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-75792}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX-RANDOM.2017.30}, annote = {Keywords: Locally correctable code, Private information retrieval, Szemer\'{e}di regularity lemma} }

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

We show that AC^0 circuits on n variables with depth d and size m have at most 2^{-Omega(k/log^{d-1} m)} of their Fourier mass at level k or above. Our proof builds on a previous result by Hastad (SICOMP, 2014) who proved this bound for the special case k=n. Our result improves the seminal result of Linial, Mansour and Nisan (JACM, 1993) and is tight up to the constants hidden in the Omega notation.
As an application, we improve Braverman's celebrated result (JACM, 2010). Braverman showed that any r(m,d,epsilon)-wise independent distribution epsilon-fools AC^0 circuits of size m and depth d, for r(m,d,epsilon) = O(log(m/epsilon))^{2d^2+7d+3}. Our improved bounds on the Fourier tails of AC^0 circuits allows us to improve this estimate to r(m,d,epsilon) = O(log(m/epsilon))^{3d+3}. In contrast, an example by Mansour (appearing in Luby and Velickovic's paper - Algorithmica, 1996) shows that there is a log^{d-1}(m)\log(1/epsilon)-wise independent distribution that does not epsilon-fool AC^0 circuits of size m and depth d. Hence, our result is tight up to the factor $3$ in the exponent.

Avishay Tal. Tight Bounds on the Fourier Spectrum of AC0. In 32nd Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 79, pp. 15:1-15:31, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{tal:LIPIcs.CCC.2017.15, author = {Tal, Avishay}, title = {{Tight Bounds on the Fourier Spectrum of AC0}}, booktitle = {32nd Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2017)}, pages = {15:1--15:31}, 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.2017.15}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-75258}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2017.15}, annote = {Keywords: bounded depth circuits, Fourier analysis, k-wise independence, Boolean circuits, switching lemma} }

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**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 55, 43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2016)

The sensitivity of a Boolean function f:{0,1}^n -> {0,1} is the maximal number of neighbors a point in the Boolean hypercube has with different f-value. Roughly speaking, the block sensitivity allows to flip a set of bits (called a block) rather than just one bit, in order to change the value of f. The sensitivity conjecture, posed by Nisan and Szegedy (CC, 1994), states that the block sensitivity, bs(f), is at most polynomial in the sensitivity, s(f), for any Boolean function f. A positive answer to the conjecture will have many consequences, as the block sensitivity is polynomially related to many other complexity measures such as the certificate complexity, the decision tree complexity and the degree. The conjecture is far from being understood, as there is an exponential gap between the known upper and lower bounds relating bs(f) and s(f).
We continue a line of work started by Kenyon and Kutin (Inf. Comput., 2004), studying the l-block sensitivity, bs_l(f), where l bounds the size of sensitive blocks. While for bs_2(f) the picture is well understood with almost matching upper and lower bounds, for bs_3(f) it is not. We show that any development in understanding bs_3(f) in terms of s(f) will have great implications on the original question. Namely, we show that either bs(f) is at most sub-exponential in s(f) (which improves the state of the art upper bounds) or that bs_3(f) >= s(f){3-epsilon} for some Boolean functions (which improves the state of the art separations).
We generalize the question of bs(f) versus s(f) to bounded functions f:{0,1}^n -> [0,1] and show an analog result to that of Kenyon and Kutin: bs_l(f) = O(s(f))^l. Surprisingly, in this case, the bounds are close to being tight. In particular, we construct a bounded function f:{0,1}^n -> [0, 1] with bs(f) n/log(n) and s(f) = O(log(n)), a clear counterexample to the sensitivity conjecture for bounded functions.
Finally, we give a new super-quadratic separation between sensitivity and decision tree complexity by constructing Boolean functions with DT(f) >= s(f)^{2.115}. Prior to this work, only quadratic separations, DT(f) = s(f)^2, were known.

Avishay Tal. On the Sensitivity Conjecture. In 43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 55, pp. 38:1-38:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)

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@InProceedings{tal:LIPIcs.ICALP.2016.38, author = {Tal, Avishay}, title = {{On the Sensitivity Conjecture}}, booktitle = {43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2016)}, pages = {38:1--38:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-013-2}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2016}, volume = {55}, editor = {Chatzigiannakis, Ioannis and Mitzenmacher, Michael and Rabani, Yuval and Sangiorgi, Davide}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2016.38}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-63184}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ICALP.2016.38}, annote = {Keywords: sensitivity conjecture, decision tree, block sensitivity} }

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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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