TR08-093 Authors: Cristopher Moore, Alexander Russell

Publication: 6th October 2008 21:38

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The proof of Toda's celebrated theorem that the polynomial hierarchy is contained in $\P^\numP$ relies on the fact that, under mild technical conditions on the complexity class $\mathcal{C}$, we have $\exists \,\mathcal{C} \subset \BP \cdot \oplus \,\mathcal{C}$. More concretely, there is a randomized reduction which transforms nonempty sets and the empty set, respectively, into sets of odd or even size. The customary method is to invoke Valiant's and Vazirani's randomized reduction from \NP\ to \UP, followed by amplification of the resulting success probability from $1/\poly(n)$ to a constant by combining the parities of $\poly(n)$ trials. Here we give a direct algebraic reduction which achieves constant success probability without the need for amplification. Our reduction is very simple, and its analysis relies on well-known properties of the Legendre symbol in finite fields.