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TR16-104 | 14th July 2016 22:02

Decidability of Non-Interactive Simulation of Joint Distributions


Authors: Badih Ghazi, Pritish Kamath, Madhu Sudan
Publication: 14th July 2016 23:29
Downloads: 484


We present decidability results for a sub-class of "non-interactive" simulation problems, a well-studied class of problems in information theory. A non-interactive simulation problem is specified by two distributions $P(x,y)$ and $Q(u,v)$: The goal is to determine if two players, Alice and Bob, that observe sequences $X^n$ and $Y^n$ respectively where $\{(X_i, Y_i)\}_{i=1}^n$ are drawn i.i.d. from $P(x,y)$ can generate pairs $U$ and $V$ respectively (without communicating with each other) with a joint distribution that is arbitrarily close in total variation to $Q(u,v)$. Even when $P$ and $Q$ are extremely simple: e.g., $P$ is uniform on the triples $\{(0,0), (0,1), (1,0)\}$ and $Q$ is a "doubly symmetric binary source", i.e., $U$ and $V$ are uniform $\pm 1$ variables with correlation say $0.49$, it is open if $P$ can simulate $Q$.

In this work, we show that whenever $P$ is a distribution on a finite domain and $Q$ is a $2 \times 2$ distribution, then the non-interactive simulation problem is decidable: specifically, given $\delta > 0$ the algorithm runs in time bounded by some function of $P$ and $\delta$ and either gives a non-interactive simulation protocol that is $\delta$-close to $Q$ or asserts that no protocol gets $O(\delta)$-close to $Q$. The main challenge to such a result is determining explicit (computable) convergence bounds on the number $n$ of samples that need to be drawn from $P(x,y)$ to get $\delta$-close to $Q$. We invoke contemporary results from the analysis of Boolean functions such as the invariance principle and a regularity lemma to obtain such explicit bounds.

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