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TR21-067 | 6th May 2021 20:55

Variety Evasive Subspace Families



We introduce the problem of constructing explicit variety evasive subspace families. Given a family $\mathcal{F}$ of subvarieties of a projective or affine space, a collection $\mathcal{H}$ of projective or affine $k$-subspaces is $(\mathcal{F},\epsilon)$-evasive if for every $\mathcal{V}\in\mathcal{F}$, all but at most $\epsilon$-fraction of $W\in\mathcal{H}$ intersect every irreducible component of $\mathcal{V}$ with (at most) the expected dimension. The problem of constructing such an explicit subspace family generalizes both deterministic black-box polynomial identity testing (PIT) and the problem of constructing explicit (weak) lossless rank condensers.

Using Chow forms, we construct explicit $k$-subspace families of polynomial size that are evasive for all varieties of bounded degree in a projective or affine $n$-space. As one application, we obtain a complete derandomization of Noether's normalization lemma for varieties of bounded degree in a projective or affine $n$-space. In another application, we obtain a simple polynomial-time black-box PIT algorithm for depth-4 arithmetic circuits with bounded top fan-in and bottom fan-in that are not in the Sylvester-Gallai configuration, improving and simplifying a result of Gupta (ECCC TR 14-130).

As a complement of our explicit construction, we prove a lower bound for the size of $k$-subspace families that are evasive for degree-$d$ varieties in a projective $n$-space. When $n-k=\Omega(n)$, the lower bound is superpolynomial unless $d$ is bounded. The proof uses a dimension-counting argument on Chow varieties that parametrize projective subvarieties.

ISSN 1433-8092 | Imprint