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TR10-124 | 18th July 2010 16:44
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#### Approximating Multilinear Monomial Coefficients and Maximum Multilinear Monomials in Multivariate Polynomials

**Abstract:**
This paper is our third step towards developing a theory of testing monomials in multivariate polynomials and concentrates on two problems: (1) How to compute the coefficients of multilinear monomials; and (2) how to find a maximum multilinear monomial when the input is a $\Pi\Sigma\Pi$ polynomial.

We first prove that the first problem is \#P-hard and then devise a $O^*(3^ns(n))$ upper bound for this problem for any polynomial represented by an arithmetic circuit of size $s(n)$. Later, this upper bound is improved to $O^*(2^n)$ for $\Pi\Sigma\Pi$ polynomials. We then design fully polynomial-time randomized approximation schemes for this problem for $\Pi\Sigma$ polynomials.

On the negative side, we prove that, even for $\Pi\Sigma\Pi$ polynomials with terms of degree $\le 2$, the first problem cannot be approximated at all for any approximation factor $\ge 1$, nor {\em "weakly approximated''} in a much relaxed setting, unless P=NP. For the second problem, we first give a polynomial time $\lambda$-approximation algorithm for $\Pi\Sigma\Pi$ polynomials with terms of degrees no more a constant $\lambda \ge 2$.

On the inapproximability side, we give a $n^{(1-\epsilon)/2}$ lower bound, for any $\epsilon >0,$ on the approximation factor for $\Pi\Sigma\Pi$ polynomials. When terms in these polynomials are constrained to degrees $\le 2$, we prove a $1.0476$ lower bound, assuming $P\not=NP$; and a higher $1.0604$ lower bound, assuming the Unique Games Conjecture.