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Barriers for Fast Matrix Multiplication from Irreversibility

Authors: Matthias Christandl, Péter Vrana, and Jeroen Zuiddam

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

Determining the asymptotic algebraic complexity of matrix multiplication, succinctly represented by the matrix multiplication exponent omega, is a central problem in algebraic complexity theory. The best upper bounds on omega, leading to the state-of-the-art omega <= 2.37.., have been obtained via the laser method of Strassen and its generalization by Coppersmith and Winograd. Recent barrier results show limitations for these and related approaches to improve the upper bound on omega. We introduce a new and more general barrier, providing stronger limitations than in previous work. Concretely, we introduce the notion of "irreversibility" of a tensor and we prove (in some precise sense) that any approach that uses an irreversible tensor in an intermediate step (e.g., as a starting tensor in the laser method) cannot give omega = 2. In quantitative terms, we prove that the best upper bound achievable is lower bounded by two times the irreversibility of the intermediate tensor. The quantum functionals and Strassen support functionals give (so far, the best) lower bounds on irreversibility. We provide lower bounds on the irreversibility of key intermediate tensors, including the small and big Coppersmith - Winograd tensors, that improve limitations shown in previous work. Finally, we discuss barriers on the group-theoretic approach in terms of "monomial" irreversibility.

Cite as

Matthias Christandl, Péter Vrana, and Jeroen Zuiddam. Barriers for Fast Matrix Multiplication from Irreversibility. In 34th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 137, pp. 26:1-26:17, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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  author =	{Christandl, Matthias and Vrana, P\'{e}ter and Zuiddam, Jeroen},
  title =	{{Barriers for Fast Matrix Multiplication from Irreversibility}},
  booktitle =	{34th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2019)},
  pages =	{26:1--26:17},
  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.2019.26},
  URN =		{urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-108487},
  doi =		{10.4230/LIPIcs.CCC.2019.26},
  annote =	{Keywords: Matrix multiplication exponent, barriers, laser method}
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