TR13-164 Authors: Scott Aaronson, Andris Ambainis, Kaspars Balodis, Mohammad Bavarian

Publication: 28th November 2013 03:07

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We study the query complexity of Weak Parity: the problem of computing the parity of an n-bit input string, where one only has to succeed on a 1/2+eps fraction of input strings, but must do so with high probability on those inputs where one does succeed. It is well-known that n randomized queries and n/2 quantum queries are needed to compute parity on all inputs. But surprisingly, we give a randomized algorithm for Weak Parity that makes only O(n/log^0.246(1/eps)) queries, as well as a quantum algorithm that makes only O(n/sqrt(log(1/eps))) queries. We also prove a lower bound of Omega(n/log(1/eps)) in both cases; and using extremal combinatorics, prove lower bounds of Omega(log n) in the randomized case and Omega(sqrt(log n)) in the quantum case for any eps>0. We show that improving our lower bounds is intimately related to two longstanding open problems about Boolean functions: the Sensitivity Conjecture, and the relationships between query complexity and polynomial degree.