Valentine Kabanets, Russell Impagliazzo

We show that derandomizing Polynomial Identity Testing is,

essentially, equivalent to proving circuit lower bounds for

NEXP. More precisely, we prove that if one can test in polynomial

time (or, even, nondeterministic subexponential time, infinitely

often) whether a given arithmetic circuit over integers computes an

identically zero polynomial, then either ...
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Scott Aaronson

Theoretical computer scientists have been debating the role of

oracles since the 1970's. This paper illustrates both that oracles

can give us nontrivial insights about the barrier problems in

circuit complexity, and that they need not prevent us from trying to

solve those problems.

First, we ... more >>>

Joshua Buresh-Oppenheim, Rahul Santhanam

We consider a general approach to the hoary problem of (im)proving circuit lower bounds. We define notions of hardness condensing and hardness extraction, in analogy to the corresponding notions from the computational theory of randomness. A hardness condenser is a procedure that takes in a Boolean function as input, as ... more >>>

Rahul Santhanam

We show that for each k > 0, MA/1 (MA with 1 bit of advice) does not have circuits of size n^k. This implies the first superlinear circuit lower bounds for the promise versions of the classes MA, AM and ZPP_{||}^{NP}.

We extend our main result in several ways. For ... more >>>

Scott Aaronson, Dieter van Melkebeek

We present an alternate proof of the result by Kabanets and Impagliazzo that derandomizing polynomial identity testing implies circuit lower bounds. Our proof is simpler, scales better, and yields a somewhat stronger result than the original argument.

more >>>Jeff Kinne, Dieter van Melkebeek, Ronen Shaltiel

The area of derandomization attempts to provide efficient deterministic simulations of randomized algorithms in various algorithmic settings. Goldreich and Wigderson introduced a notion of "typically-correct" deterministic simulations, which are allowed to err on few inputs. In this paper we further the study of typically-correct derandomization in two ways.

First, we ... more >>>

Scott Aaronson, Baris Aydinlioglu, Harry Buhrman, John Hitchcock, Dieter van Melkebeek

We present an alternate proof of the recent result by Gutfreund and Kawachi that derandomizing Arthur-Merlin games into $P^{NP}$ implies linear-exponential circuit lower bounds for $E^{NP}$. Our proof is simpler and yields stronger results. In particular, consider the promise-$AM$ problem of distinguishing between the case where a given Boolean circuit ... more >>>

Andrew Drucker

We study the circuit complexity of Boolean operators, i.e., collections of Boolean functions defined over a common input. Our focus is the well-studied model in which arbitrary Boolean functions are allowed as gates, and in which a circuit's complexity is measured by its depth and number of wires. We show ... more >>>

Rahul Santhanam, Srikanth Srinivasan

Impagliazzo, Paturi and Zane (JCSS 2001) proved a sparsification lemma for $k$-CNFs:

every k-CNF is a sub-exponential size disjunction of $k$-CNFs with a linear

number of clauses. This lemma has subsequently played a key role in the study

of the exact complexity of the satisfiability problem. A natural question is

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Maurice Jansen, Rahul Santhanam

Suppose $f$ is a univariate polynomial of degree $r=r(n)$ that is computed by a size $n$ arithmetic circuit.

It is a basic fact of algebra that a nonzero univariate polynomial of degree $r$ can vanish on at most $r$ points. This implies that for checking whether $f$ is identically zero, ...
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Rahul Santhanam

I discuss recent progress in developing and exploiting connections between

SAT algorithms and circuit lower bounds. The centrepiece of the article is

Williams' proof that $NEXP \not \subseteq ACC^0$, which proceeds via a new

algorithm for $ACC^0$-SAT beating brute-force search. His result exploits

a formal connection from non-trivial SAT algorithms ...
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Valentine Kabanets, Antonina Kolokolova

We consider the problem of compression for ``easy'' Boolean functions: given the truth table of an $n$-variate Boolean function $f$ computable by some \emph{unknown small circuit} from a \emph{known class} of circuits, find in deterministic time $\poly(2^n)$ a circuit $C$ (no restriction on the type of $C$) computing $f$ so ... more >>>

Oded Goldreich, Avi Wigderson

We propose that multi-linear functions of relatively low degree

over GF(2) may be good candidates for obtaining exponential

lower bounds on the size of constant-depth Boolean circuits

(computing explicit functions).

Specifically, we propose to move gradually from linear functions

to multilinear ones, and conjecture that, for any $t\geq2$,

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Ruiwen Chen, Valentine Kabanets, Antonina Kolokolova, Ronen Shaltiel, David Zuckerman

We show that circuit lower bound proofs based on the method of random restrictions yield non-trivial compression algorithms for ``easy'' Boolean functions from the corresponding circuit classes. The compression problem is defined as follows: given the truth table of an $n$-variate Boolean function $f$ computable by some unknown small circuit ... more >>>

Ján Pich

We prove that $T_{NC^1}$, the true universal first-order theory in the language containing names for all uniform $NC^1$ algorithms, cannot prove that for sufficiently large $n$, SAT is not computable by circuits of size $n^{2kc}$ where $k\geq 1, c\geq 4$ unless each function $f\in SIZE(n^k)$ can be approximated by formulas ... more >>>

Rahul Santhanam, Ryan Williams

We revisit the complexity of the satisfiability problem for quantified Boolean formulas. We show that satisfiability

of quantified CNFs of size $\poly(n)$ on $n$ variables with $O(1)$

quantifier blocks can be solved in time $2^{n-n^{\Omega(1)}}$ by zero-error

randomized algorithms. This is the first known improvement over brute force search in ...
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Igor Oliveira

Different techniques have been used to prove several transference theorems of the form "nontrivial algorithms for a circuit class C yield circuit lower bounds against C". In this survey we revisit many of these results. We discuss how circuit lower bounds can be obtained from derandomization, compression, learning, and satisfiability ... more >>>

Adam Klivans, Pravesh Kothari, Igor Oliveira

Fortnow and Klivans proved the following relationship between efficient learning algorithms and circuit lower bounds: if a class $\mathcal{C} \subseteq P/poly$ of Boolean circuits is exactly learnable with membership and equivalence queries in polynomial-time, then $EXP^{NP} \not \subseteq \mathcal{C}$ (the class $EXP^{NP}$ was subsequently improved to $P$ by Hitchcock and ... more >>>

Gil Cohen, Igor Shinkar

We study depth 3 circuits of the form $\mathrm{OR} \circ \mathrm{AND} \circ \mathrm{XOR}$, or equivalently -- DNF of parities. This model was first explicitly studied by Jukna (CPC'06) who obtained a $2^{\Omega(n)}$ lower bound for explicit functions. Several related models have gained attention in the last few years, such as ... more >>>

Cody Murray, Ryan Williams

The Minimum Circuit Size Problem (MCSP) is: given the truth table of a Boolean function $f$ and a size parameter $k$, is the circuit complexity of $f$ at most $k$? This is the definitive problem of circuit synthesis, and it has been studied since the 1950s. Unlike many problems of ... more >>>

Marco Carmosino, Russell Impagliazzo, Valentine Kabanets, Antonina Kolokolova

Circuit analysis algorithms such as learning, SAT, minimum circuit size, and compression imply circuit lower bounds. We show a generic implication in the opposite direction: natural properties (in the sense of Razborov and Rudich) imply randomized learning and compression algorithms. This is the first such implication outside of the derandomization ... more >>>

Alexander Golovnev, Edward Hirsch, Alexander Knop, Alexander Kulikov

Although a simple counting argument shows the existence of Boolean functions of exponential circuit complexity, proving superlinear circuit lower bounds for explicit functions seems to be out of reach of the current techniques. There has been a (very slow) progress in proving linear lower bounds with the latest record of ... more >>>

Russell Impagliazzo, Valentine Kabanets, Ilya Volkovich

We study the power of randomized complexity classes that are given oracle access to a natural property of Razborov and Rudich (JCSS, 1997) or its special case, the Minimal Circuit Size Problem (MCSP).

We obtain new circuit lower bounds, as well as some hardness results for the relativized version ...
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Valentine Kabanets, Daniel Kane, Zhenjian Lu

A polynomial threshold function (PTF) of degree $d$ is a boolean function of the form $f=\mathrm{sgn}(p)$, where $p$ is a degree-$d$ polynomial, and $\mathrm{sgn}$ is the sign function. The main result of the paper is an almost optimal bound on the probability that a random restriction of a PTF is ... more >>>

Moritz Müller, Ján Pich

We ask for feasibly constructive proofs of known circuit lower bounds for explicit functions on bit strings of length $n$. In 1995 Razborov showed that many can be proved in Cook’s theory $PV_1$, a bounded arithmetic formalizing polynomial time reasoning. He formalized circuit lower bound statements for small $n$ of ... more >>>

Igor Carboni Oliveira, Ruiwen Chen, Rahul Santhanam

In a seminal work, Williams [Wil14] showed that NEXP (non-deterministic exponential time) does not have polynomial-size ACC^0 circuits. Williams' technique inherently gives a worst-case lower bound, and until now, no average-case version of his result was known.

We show that there is a language L in NEXP (resp. EXP^NP) ... more >>>

Roei Tell

We show that any proof that $promise\textrm{-}\mathcal{BPP}=promise\textrm{-}\mathcal{P}$ necessitates proving circuit lower bounds that almost yield that $\mathcal{P}\ne\mathcal{NP}$. More accurately, we show that if $promise\textrm{-}\mathcal{BPP}=promise\textrm{-}\mathcal{P}$, then for essentially any super-constant function $f(n)=\omega(1)$ it holds that $NTIME[n^{f(n)}]\not\subseteq\mathcal{P}/\mathrm{poly}$. The conclusion of the foregoing conditional statement cannot be improved (to conclude that $\mathcal{NP}\not\subseteq\mathcal{P}/\mathrm{poly}$) without ... more >>>

Igor Carboni Oliveira, Ján Pich, Rahul Santhanam

This work continues the development of hardness magnification. The latter proposes a strategy for showing strong complexity lower bounds by reducing them to a refined analysis of weaker models, where combinatorial techniques might be successful.

We consider gap versions of the meta-computational problems MKtP and MCSP, where one needs ... more >>>

Alexander Golovnev, Alexander Kulikov

The best known circuit lower bounds against unrestricted circuits remained around $3n$ for several decades. Moreover, the only known technique for proving lower bounds in this model, gate elimination, is inherently limited to proving lower bounds of less than $5n$. In this work, we suggest a first non-gate-elimination approach for ... more >>>

Alexander Golovnev, Rahul Ilango, Russell Impagliazzo, Valentine Kabanets, Antonina Kolokolova, Avishay Tal

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 $p\geq 2$ (the circuit class $AC^0[p])$. Namely, ... more >>>

Rahul Ilango

The Minimum Circuit Size Problem (MCSP) asks whether a (given) Boolean function has a circuit of at most a (given) size. Despite over a half-century of study, we know relatively little about the computational complexity of MCSP. We do know that questions about the complexity of MCSP have significant ramifications ... more >>>

Mahdi Cheraghchi, Valentine Kabanets, Zhenjian Lu, Dimitrios Myrisiotis

The Minimum Circuit Size Problem (MCSP) asks if a given truth table of a Boolean function $f$ can be computed by a Boolean circuit of size at most $\theta$, for a given parameter $\theta$. We improve several circuit lower bounds for MCSP, using pseudorandom generators (PRGs) that are local; a ... more >>>

Lijie Chen, Dylan McKay, Cody Murray, Ryan Williams

Relations and Equivalences Between Circuit Lower Bounds and Karp-Lipton Theorems

A frontier open problem in circuit complexity is to prove P^NP is not in SIZE[n^k] for all k; this is a necessary intermediate step towards NP is not in P/poly. Previously, for several classes containing P^NP, including NP^NP, ZPP^NP, and ... more >>>

Lijie Chen, Ce Jin, Ryan Williams

In the Minimum Circuit Size Problem (MCSP[s(m)]), we ask if there is a circuit of size s(m) computing a given truth-table of length n = 2^m. Recently, a surprising phenomenon termed as hardness magnification by [Oliveira and Santhanam, FOCS 2018] was discovered for MCSP[s(m)] and the related problem MKtP of ... more >>>

Young Ko, Omri Weinstein

In 2010, Patrascu proposed a dynamic set-disjointness problem, known as the Multiphase problem, as a candidate for proving $polynomial$ lower bounds on the operational time of dynamic data structures. Patrascu conjectured that any data structure for the Multiphase problem must make $n^\epsilon$ cell-probes in either the update or query phase, ... more >>>

Lijie Chen, Ron Rothblum, Roei Tell, Eylon Yogev

The Exponential-Time Hypothesis ($ETH$) is a strengthening of the $\mathcal{P} \neq \mathcal{NP}$ conjecture, stating that $3\text{-}SAT$ on $n$ variables cannot be solved in time $2^{\epsilon\cdot n}$, for some $\epsilon>0$. In recent years, analogous hypotheses that are ``exponentially-strong'' forms of other classical complexity conjectures (such as $\mathcal{NP}\not\subseteq\mathcal{BPP}$ or $co\text{-}\mathcal{NP}\not\subseteq \mathcal{NP}$) have ... more >>>

Valentine Kabanets, Sajin Koroth, Zhenjian Lu, Dimitrios Myrisiotis, Igor Oliveira

The class $FORMULA[s] \circ \mathcal{G}$ consists of Boolean functions computable by size-$s$ de Morgan formulas whose leaves are any Boolean functions from a class $\mathcal{G}$. We give lower bounds and (SAT, Learning, and PRG) algorithms for $FORMULA[n^{1.99}]\circ \mathcal{G}$, for classes $\mathcal{G}$ of functions with low communication complexity. Let $R^{(k)}(\mathcal{G})$ be ... more >>>

Susanna de Rezende, Or Meir, Jakob Nordström, Toniann Pitassi, Robert Robere

One of the major open problems in complexity theory is proving super-logarithmic lower bounds on the depth of circuits (i.e., $\mathbf{P}\not\subseteq\mathbf{NC}^1$). Karchmer, Raz, and Wigderson (Computational Complexity 5(3/4), 1995) suggested to approach this problem by proving that depth complexity behaves “as expected” with respect to the composition of functions $f ... more >>>

Lijie Chen, Roei Tell

Extending the classical ``hardness-to-randomness'' line-of-works, Doron et al. (FOCS 2020) recently proved that derandomization with near-quadratic time overhead is possible, under the assumption that there exists a function in $\mathcal{DTIME}[2^n]$ that cannot be computed by randomized SVN circuits of size $2^{(1-\epsilon)\cdot n}$ for a small $\epsilon$.

In this work we ... more >>>

Lijie Chen, Xin Lyu, Ryan Williams

In certain complexity-theoretic settings, it is notoriously difficult to prove complexity separations which hold almost everywhere, i.e., for all but finitely many input lengths. For example, a classical open question is whether $\mathrm{NEXP} \subset \mathrm{i.o.-}\mathrm{NP}$; that is, it is open whether nondeterministic exponential time computations can be simulated on infinitely ... more >>>

Srinivasan Arunachalam, Alex Grilo, Tom Gur, Igor Oliveira, Aarthi Sundaram

We establish the first general connection between the design of quantum algorithms and circuit lower bounds. Specifically, let $\mathrm{C}$ be a class of polynomial-size concepts, and suppose that $\mathrm{C}$ can be PAC-learned with membership queries under the uniform distribution with error $1/2 - \gamma$ by a time $T$ quantum algorithm. ... more >>>

Oded Goldreich

This is a purely pedagogical text.

We advocate using KW-games as a teaser (or ``riddle'') for a complexity theoretic course.

In particular, stating the KW-game for a familiar NP-complete problem such as 3-Colorability and asking to prove that it requires more than polylogarithmic communication poses a seemingly tractable question ...
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Lijie Chen, Jiatu Li, Tianqi Yang

In a recent work, Fan, Li, and Yang (STOC 2022) constructed a family of almost-universal hash functions such that each function in the family is computable by $(2n + o(n))$-gate circuits of fan-in $2$ over the $B_2$ basis. Applying this family, they established the existence of pseudorandom functions computable by ... more >>>

Tameem Choudhury, Karteek Sreenivasaiah

The 2-Orthogonal Vectors (2-OV) problem is the following: given two tuples $A$ and $B$ of $n$ vectors each of dimension $d$, decide if there exists a vector $u\in A$, and $v\in B$ such that $u$ and $v$ are orthogonal. This problem, and its generalization $k$-OV defined analogously for $k$ tuples, ... more >>>

Oded Goldreich

This text provides a basic presentation of the the approximation method of Razborov (Matematicheskie Zametki, 1987) and its application by Smolensky (19th STOC, 1987) for proving lower bounds on the size of ${\cal AC}^0[p]$-circuits that compute sums mod~$q$ (for primes $q\neq p$).

The textbook presentations of the latter result ...
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Or Meir

One of the major open problems in complexity theory is proving super-logarithmic lower bounds on the depth of circuits (i.e., $\mathbf{P}\not\subseteq \mathbf{NC}^{1}$). Karchmer, Raz, and Wigderson (Computational Complexity 5(3/4), 1995) suggested to approach this problem by proving that depth complexity of a composition of functions $f \diamond g$ is roughly ... more >>>

Russell Impagliazzo, Valentine Kabanets, Ilya Volkovich

We study close connections between Indistinguishability Obfuscation ($IO$) and the Minimum Circuit Size Problem ($MCSP$), and argue that algorithms for one of $MCSP$ or $IO$ would empower the other one. Some of our main results are:

\begin{itemize}

\item If there exists a perfect (imperfect) $IO$ that is computationally secure ...
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Lijie Chen, Shuichi Hirahara, Hanlin Ren

We show that there is a language in $\mathrm{S}_2\mathrm{E}/_1$ (symmetric exponential time with one bit of advice) with circuit complexity at least $2^n/n$. In particular, the above also implies the same near-maximum circuit lower bounds for the classes $\Sigma_2\mathrm{E}$, $(\Sigma_2\mathrm{E}\cap\Pi_2\mathrm{E})/_1$, and $\mathrm{ZPE}^{\mathrm{NP}}/_1$. Previously, only "half-exponential" circuit lower bounds for these ... more >>>