Igor Carboni Oliveira, Rahul Santhanam

We show that for several natural problems of interest, complexity lower bounds that are barely non-trivial imply super-polynomial or even exponential lower bounds in strong computational models. We term this phenomenon "hardness magnification". Our examples of hardness magnification include:

1. Let MCSP$[s]$ be the decision problem whose YES instances are ... 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 >>>

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 >>>

Igor Carboni Oliveira, Lijie Chen, Shuichi Hirahara, Ján Pich, Ninad Rajgopal, Rahul Santhanam

Hardness magnification reduces major complexity separations (such as $EXP \not\subseteq NC^1$) to proving lower bounds for some natural problem $Q$ against weak circuit models. Several recent works [OS18, MMW19, CT19, OPS19, CMMW19, Oli19, CJW19a] have established results of this form. In the most intriguing cases, the required lower bound is ... more >>>

Lijie Chen, Ce Jin, Ryan Williams

We establish several ``sharp threshold'' results for computational complexity. For certain tasks, we can prove a resource lower bound of $n^c$ for $c \geq 1$ (or obtain an efficient circuit-analysis algorithm for $n^c$ size), there is strong intuition that a similar result can be proved for larger functions of $n$, ... more >>>

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 >>>