TR14-085 Authors: Manindra Agrawal, Rohit Gurjar, Arpita Korwar, Nitin Saxena

Publication: 29th June 2014 19:59

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We give a $n^{O(\log n)}$-time ($n$ is the input size) blackbox polynomial identity testing algorithm for unknown-order read-once oblivious algebraic branching programs (ROABP). The best time-complexity known for this class was $n^{O(\log^2 n)}$ due to Forbes-Saptharishi-Shpilka (STOC 2014), and that too only for multilinear ROABP. We get rid of their exponential dependence on the individual degree. With this, we match the time-complexity for the unknown order ROABP with the known order ROABP (due to Forbes-Shpilka (FOCS 2013)) and also with the depth-$3$ set-multilinear circuits (due to Agrawal-Saha-Saxena (STOC 2013)). Our proof is simpler and involves a new technique called basis isolation.

The depth-$3$ model has recently gained much importance, as it has become a stepping-stone to understanding general arithmetic circuits. Its restriction to multilinearity has known exponential lower bounds but no nontrivial blackbox identity tests. In this paper, we take a step towards designing such hitting-sets. We give the first subexponential whitebox PIT for the sum of constantly many set-multilinear depth-$3$ circuits. To achieve this, we define notions of distance and base sets. Distance, for a multilinear depth-$3$ circuit (say, in $n$ variables and $k$ product gates), measures how far are the partitions from a mere refinement. The $1$-distance strictly subsumes the set-multilinear model, while $n$-distance captures general multilinear depth-$3$. We design a hitting-set in time $(nk)^{O(\Delta \log n)}$ for $\Delta$-distance. Further, we give an extension of our result to models where the distance is large (close to $n$) but it is small when restricted to certain base sets (of variables).

We also explore a new model of read-once algebraic branching programs (ROABP) where the factor-matrices are invertible (called invertible-factor ROABP). We design a hitting-set in time poly($n^{w^2}$) for width-$w$ invertible-factor ROABP. Further, we could do without the invertibility restriction when $w=2$. Previously, the best result for width-$2$ ROABP was quasi-polynomial time (Forbes-Saptharishi-Shpilka, STOC 2014).