ECCC-Report TR15-131https://eccc.weizmann.ac.il/report/2015/131Comments and Revisions published for TR15-131en-usWed, 12 Aug 2015 04:39:40 +0300
Paper TR15-131
| Smooth Boolean functions are easy: efficient algorithms for low-sensitivity functions |
Parikshit Gopalan,
Noam Nisan,
Rocco Servedio,
Kunal Talwar,
Avi Wigderson
https://eccc.weizmann.ac.il/report/2015/131A natural measure of smoothness of a Boolean function is its sensitivity (the largest number of Hamming neighbors of a point which differ from it in function value). The structure of smooth or equivalently low-sensitivity functions is still a mystery. A well-known conjecture states that every such Boolean function can be computed by a shallow decision tree. While this conjecture implies that smooth functions are easy to compute in the simplest computational model, to date no non-trivial upper bounds were known for such functions in any computational model, including unrestricted Boolean circuits. Even a bound on the description length of such functions better than the trivial $2^n$ does not seem to have been known.
In this work, we establish the first computational upper bounds on smooth Boolean functions:
1) We show that every sensitivity $s$ function is uniquely specified by its values on a Hamming ball of radius $2s$. We use this to show that such functions can be computed by circuits of size $n^{O(s)}$.
2) We show that sensitivity $s$ functions satisfy a strong pointwise noise-stability guarantee for random noise of rate $O(1/s)$. We use this to show that these functions have formulas of depth $O(s\log n)$.
3) We show that sensitivity $s$ functions can be (locally) self-corrected from worst-case noise of rate $\exp(-O(s))$.
All our results are simple, and follow rather directly from (variants of) the basic fact that the function value at few points in small neighborhoods of a given point determine its function value via a majority vote. Our results confirm various consequences of the conjecture. They may be viewed as providing a new form of evidence towards its validity, as well as new directions towards attacking it.
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 04:39:40 +0300https://eccc.weizmann.ac.il/report/2015/131