TR20-069 Authors: Eshan Chattopadhyay, Jyun-Jie Liao

Publication: 4th May 2020 01:01

Downloads: 97

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In a seminal work, Nisan (Combinatorica'92) constructed a pseudorandom generator for length $n$ and width $w$ read-once branching programs with seed length $O(\log n\cdot \log(nw)+\log n\cdot\log(1/\varepsilon))$ and error $\varepsilon$. It remains a central question to reduce the seed length to $O(\log (nw/\varepsilon))$, which would prove that $\mathbf{BPL}=\mathbf{L}$. However, there has been no improvement on Nisan's construction for the case $n=w$, which is most relevant to space-bounded derandomization.

Recently, in a beautiful work, Braverman, Cohen and Garg (STOC'18) introduced the notion of a \emph{pseudorandom pseudo-distribution} (PRPD) and gave an explicit construction of a PRPD with seed length $\tilde{O}(\log n\cdot \log(nw)+\log(1/\varepsilon))$. A PRPD is a relaxation of a pseudorandom generator, which suffices for derandomizing $\mathbf{BPL}$ and also implies a hitting set. Unfortunately, their construction is quite involved and complicated. Hoza and Zuckerman (FOCS'18) later constructed a much simpler hitting set generator with seed length $O(\log n\cdot \log(nw)+\log(1/\varepsilon))$, but their techniques are restricted to hitting sets.

In this work, we construct a PRPD with seed length

$$O(\log n\cdot \log (nw)\cdot \log\log(nw)+\log(1/\varepsilon)).$$

This improves upon the construction in \cite{BCG18} by a $O(\log\log(1/\varepsilon))$ factor, and is optimal in the small error regime. In addition, we believe our construction and analysis to be simpler than the work of Braverman, Cohen and Garg.