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

Existing proofs that deduce BPL = 𝐋 from circuit lower bounds convert randomized algorithms into deterministic algorithms with large constant overhead in space. We study space-bounded derandomization with minimal footprint, and ask what is the minimal possible space overhead for derandomization. We show that BPSPACE[S] ⊆ DSPACE[c ⋅ S] for c ≈ 2, assuming space-efficient cryptographic PRGs, and, either: (1) lower bounds against bounded-space algorithms with advice, or: (2) lower bounds against certain uniform compression algorithms. Under additional assumptions regarding the power of catalytic computation, in a new setting of parameters that was not studied before, we are even able to get c ≈ 1.
Our results are constructive: Given a candidate hard function (and a candidate cryptographic PRG) we show how to transform the randomized algorithm into an efficient deterministic one. This follows from new PRGs and targeted PRGs for space-bounded algorithms, which we combine with novel space-efficient evaluation methods. A central ingredient in all our constructions is hardness amplification reductions in logspace-uniform TC⁰, that were not known before.

Dean Doron and Roei Tell. Derandomization with Minimal Memory Footprint. In 38th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2023). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 264, pp. 11:1-11:15, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)

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@InProceedings{doron_et_al:LIPIcs.CCC.2023.11, author = {Doron, Dean and Tell, Roei}, title = {{Derandomization with Minimal Memory Footprint}}, booktitle = {38th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2023)}, pages = {11:1--11:15}, 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.2023.11}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-182816}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2023.11}, annote = {Keywords: derandomization, space-bounded computation, catalytic space} }

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RANDOM

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 176, Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2020)

The problem of constructing hitting-set generators for polynomials of low degree is fundamental in complexity theory and has numerous well-known applications. We study the following question, which is a relaxation of this problem: Is it easier to construct a hitting-set generator for polynomials p: 𝔽ⁿ → 𝔽 of degree d if we are guaranteed that the polynomial vanishes on at most an ε > 0 fraction of its inputs? We will specifically be interested in tiny values of ε≪ d/|𝔽|. This question was first considered by Goldreich and Wigderson (STOC 2014), who studied a specific setting geared for a particular application, and another specific setting was later studied by the third author (CCC 2017).
In this work our main interest is a systematic study of the relaxed problem, in its general form, and we prove results that significantly improve and extend the two previously-known results. Our contributions are of two types:
- Over fields of size 2 ≤ |𝔽| ≤ poly(n), we show that the seed length of any hitting-set generator for polynomials of degree d ≤ n^{.49} that vanish on at most ε = |𝔽|^{-t} of their inputs is at least Ω((d/t)⋅log(n)).
- Over 𝔽₂, we show that there exists a (non-explicit) hitting-set generator for polynomials of degree d ≤ n^{.99} that vanish on at most ε = |𝔽|^{-t} of their inputs with seed length O((d-t)⋅log(n)). We also show a polynomial-time computable hitting-set generator with seed length O((d-t)⋅(2^{d-t}+log(n))).
In addition, we prove that the problem we study is closely related to the following question: "Does there exist a small set S ⊆ 𝔽ⁿ whose degree-d closure is very large?", where the degree-d closure of S is the variety induced by the set of degree-d polynomials that vanish on S.

Dean Doron, Amnon Ta-Shma, and Roei Tell. On Hitting-Set Generators for Polynomials That Vanish Rarely. In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 176, pp. 7:1-7:23, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)

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@InProceedings{doron_et_al:LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2020.7, author = {Doron, Dean and Ta-Shma, Amnon and Tell, Roei}, title = {{On Hitting-Set Generators for Polynomials That Vanish Rarely}}, booktitle = {Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques (APPROX/RANDOM 2020)}, pages = {7:1--7:23}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-164-1}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2020}, volume = {176}, editor = {Byrka, Jaros{\l}aw and Meka, Raghu}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2020.7}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-126109}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.APPROX/RANDOM.2020.7}, annote = {Keywords: Hitting-set generators, Polynomials over finite fields, Quantified derandomization} }

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

We introduce new forms of attack on expander-based cryptography, and in particular on Goldreich's pseudorandom generator and one-way function. Our attacks exploit low circuit complexity of the underlying expander's neighbor function and/or of the local predicate. Our two key conceptual contributions are:
1) We put forward the possibility that the choice of expander matters in expander-based cryptography. In particular, using expanders whose neighbour function has low circuit complexity might compromise the security of Goldreich's PRG and OWF in certain settings.
2) We show that the security of Goldreich's PRG and OWF is closely related to two other long-standing problems: Specifically, to the existence of unbalanced lossless expanders with low-complexity neighbor function, and to limitations on circuit lower bounds (i.e., natural proofs). In particular, our results further motivate the investigation of affine/local unbalanced lossless expanders and of average-case lower bounds against DNF-XOR circuits.
We prove two types of technical results that support the above conceptual messages. First, we unconditionally break Goldreich's PRG when instantiated with a specific expander (whose existence we prove), for a class of predicates that match the parameters of the currently-best "hard" candidates, in the regime of quasi-polynomial stretch. Secondly, conditioned on the existence of expanders whose neighbor functions have extremely low circuit complexity, we present attacks on Goldreich's generator in the regime of polynomial stretch. As one corollary, conditioned on the existence of the foregoing expanders, we show that either the parameters of natural properties for several constant-depth circuit classes cannot be improved, even mildly; or Goldreich's generator is insecure in the regime of a large polynomial stretch, regardless of the predicate used.

Igor Carboni Oliveira, Rahul Santhanam, and Roei Tell. Expander-Based Cryptography Meets Natural Proofs. In 10th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 124, pp. 18:1-18:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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@InProceedings{carbonioliveira_et_al:LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.18, author = {Carboni Oliveira, Igor and Santhanam, Rahul and Tell, Roei}, title = {{Expander-Based Cryptography Meets Natural Proofs}}, booktitle = {10th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (ITCS 2019)}, pages = {18:1--18:14}, 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.2019.18}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-101112}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2019.18}, annote = {Keywords: Pseudorandom Generators, One-Way Functions, Expanders, Circuit Complexity} }

Document

**Published in:** LIPIcs, Volume 96, 35th Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2018)

Consider a deterministic algorithm that tries to find a string in an unknown set S\subseteq{0,1}^n, under the promise that S has large density. The only information that the algorithm can obtain about S is estimates of the density of S in adaptively chosen subsets of {0,1}^n, up to an additive error of mu>0. This problem is appealing as a derandomization problem, when S is the set of satisfying inputs for a circuit C:{0,1}^n->{0,1} that accepts many inputs: In this context, an algorithm as above constitutes a deterministic black-box reduction of the problem of hitting C (i.e., finding a satisfying input for C) to the problem of approximately counting the number of satisfying inputs for C on subsets of {0,1}^n.
We prove tight lower bounds for this problem, demonstrating that naive approaches to solve the problem cannot be improved upon, in general. First, we show a tight trade-off between the estimation error mu and the required number of queries to solve the problem: When mu=O(log(n)/n) a polynomial number of queries suffices, and when mu>=(4log(n)/n) the required number of queries is 2^{Theta(mu \cdot n)}. Secondly, we show that the problem "resists" parallelization: Any algorithm that works in iterations, and can obtain p=p(n) density estimates "in parallel" in each iteration, still requires Omega( frac{n}{log(p)+log(1/mu)} ) iterations to solve the problem.
This work extends the well-known work of Karp, Upfal, and Wigderson (1988), who studied the setting in which S is only guaranteed to be non-empty (rather than dense), and the algorithm can only probe subsets for the existence of a solution in them. In addition, our lower bound on parallel algorithms affirms a weak version of a conjecture of Motwani, Naor, and Naor (1994); we also make progress on a stronger version of their conjecture.

Roei Tell. Lower Bounds on Black-Box Reductions of Hitting to Density Estimation. In 35th Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2018). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 96, pp. 58:1-58:13, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2018)

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@InProceedings{tell:LIPIcs.STACS.2018.58, author = {Tell, Roei}, title = {{Lower Bounds on Black-Box Reductions of Hitting to Density Estimation}}, booktitle = {35th Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS 2018)}, pages = {58:1--58:13}, series = {Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)}, ISBN = {978-3-95977-062-0}, ISSN = {1868-8969}, year = {2018}, volume = {96}, editor = {Niedermeier, Rolf and Vall\'{e}e, Brigitte}, publisher = {Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik}, address = {Dagstuhl, Germany}, URL = {https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.STACS.2018.58}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-85005}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.STACS.2018.58}, annote = {Keywords: Approximate Counting, Lower Bounds, Derandomization, Parallel Algorithms, Query Complexity} }

Document

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

This work studies the question of quantified derandomization, which was introduced by Goldreich and Wigderson (STOC 2014). The generic quantified derandomization problem is the following: For a circuit class cal{C} and a parameter B=B(n), given a circuit C in cal{C} with n input bits, decide whether C rejects all of its inputs, or accepts all but B(n) of its inputs. In the current work we consider three settings for this question. In each setting, we bring closer the parameter setting for which we can unconditionally construct relatively fast quantified derandomization algorithms, and the "threshold" values (for the parameters) for which any quantified derandomization algorithm implies a similar algorithm for standard derandomization.
For constant-depth circuits, we construct an algorithm for quantified derandomization that works for a parameter B(n) that is only slightly smaller than a "threshold" parameter, and is significantly faster than the best currently-known algorithms for standard derandomization. On the way to this result we establish a new derandomization of the switching lemma, which significantly improves on previous results when the width of the formula is small. For constant-depth circuits with parity gates, we lower a "threshold" of Goldreich and Wigderson from depth five to depth four, and construct algorithms for quantified derandomization of a remaining type of layered depth-3 circuit that they left as an open problem. We also consider the question of constructing hitting-set generators for multivariate polynomials over large fields that vanish rarely, and prove two lower bounds on the seed length of such generators.
Several of our proofs rely on an interesting technique, which we call the randomized tests technique. Intuitively, a standard technique to deterministically find a "good" object is to construct a simple deterministic test that decides the set of good objects, and then "fool" that test using a pseudorandom generator. We show that a similar approach works also if the simple deterministic test is replaced with a distribution over simple tests, and demonstrate the benefits in using a distribution instead of a single test.

Roei Tell. Improved Bounds for Quantified Derandomization of Constant-Depth Circuits and Polynomials. In 32nd Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 79, pp. 13:1-13:48, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)

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@InProceedings{tell:LIPIcs.CCC.2017.13, author = {Tell, Roei}, title = {{Improved Bounds for Quantified Derandomization of Constant-Depth Circuits and Polynomials}}, booktitle = {32nd Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2017)}, pages = {13:1--13:48}, 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.2017.13}, URN = {urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-75349}, doi = {10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2017.13}, annote = {Keywords: Computational complexity, derandomization, quantified derandomization, hitting-set generator, constant-depth circuits} }

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