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TR13-087 | 4th June 2013 06:22

Estimating the distance from testable affine-invariant properties


Authors: Hamed Hatami, Shachar Lovett
Publication: 13th June 2013 08:59
Downloads: 2746


Let $\cal{P}$ be an affine invariant property of functions $\mathbb{F}_p^n \to [R]$ for fixed $p$ and $R$. We show that if $\cal{P}$ is locally testable with a constant number of queries, then one can estimate the distance of a function $f$ from $\cal{P}$ with a constant number of queries. This was previously unknown even for simple properties such as cubic polynomials over $\mathbb{F}_2$.

Our test is simple: take a restriction of $f$ to a constant dimensional affine subspace, and measure its distance from $\cal{P}$. We show that by choosing the dimension large enough, this approximates with high probability the global distance of $f$ from $\cP$. The analysis combines the approach of Fischer and Newman [SIAM J. Comp 2007] who established a similar result for graph properties, with recently developed tools in higher order Fourier analysis, in particular those developed in Bhattacharyya et al. [STOC 2013].

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