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TR15-017 | 20th January 2015 20:34
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#### Linear list-approximation for short programs (or the power of a few random bits)

**Abstract:**
A $c$-short program for a string $x$ is a description of $x$ of length at most $C(x) + c$, where $C(x)$ is the Kolmogorov complexity of $x$. We show that there exists a randomized algorithm that constructs a list of $n$ elements that contains a $O(\log n)$-short program for $x$. We also show a polynomial-time randomized construction that achieves the same list size for $O(\log^2 n)$-short programs. These results beat the lower bounds shown by Bauwens et al.~\cite{bmvz:c:shortlist} for deterministic constructions of such lists. We also prove tight lower bounds for the main parameters of our result. The constructions use only $O(\log n)$ ($O(\log^2 n)$ for the polynomial-time result) random bits. Thus using only few random bits it is possible to do tasks that cannot be done by any deterministic algorithm regardless of its running time.