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TR22-041 | 23rd March 2022 05:14

Boolean functions with small approximate spectral norm



The sum of the absolute values of the Fourier coefficients of a function $f:\mathbb{F}_2^n \to \mathbb{R}$ is called the spectral norm of $f$. Green and Sanders' quantitative version of Cohen's idempotent theorem states that if the spectral norm of $f:\mathbb{F}_2^n \to \{0,1\}$ is at most $M$, then the support of $f$ belongs to the ring of sets generated by at most $\ell(M)$ cosets, where $\ell(M)$ is a constant that only depends on $M$.

We prove that the above statement can be generalized to approximate spectral norms if and only if the support of $f$ and its complement satisfy a certain arithmetic connectivity condition. In particular, our theorem provides a new proof of the quantitative Cohen's theorem for $\mathbb{F}_2^n$.

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