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TR23-120 | 18th August 2023 17:20

Characterizing Direct Product Testing via Coboundary Expansion


Authors: Mitali Bafna, Dor Minzer
Publication: 18th August 2023 18:00
Downloads: 124


A $d$-dimensional simplicial complex $X$ is said to support a direct product tester if any locally consistent function defined on its $k$-faces (where $k\ll d$) necessarily come from a function over its vertices. More precisely, a direct product tester has a distribution $\mu$ over pairs of $k$-faces $(A,A')$, and given query access to $F\colon X(k)\to\{0,1\}^k$ it samples $(A,A')\sim \mu$ and
checks that $F[A]|_{A\cap A'} = F[A']|_{A\cap A'}$. The tester should have (1) the ``completeness property'', meaning that any assignment $F$ which is a direct product assignment passes the test with
probability $1$, and (2) the ``soundness property'', meaning that if $F$ passes the test with probability $s$, then $F$ must be correlated with a direct product function.

Dinur and Kaufman showed that a sufficiently good
spectral expanding complex $X$ admits a direct product tester in the ``high soundness'' regime where $s$ is close to $1$. They asked whether there are high dimensional expanders that support direct product tests in the ``low soundness'', when $s$ is close to $0$.

We give a characterization of high-dimensional expanders that support a direct product tester in the low soundness regime. We show that spectral expansion is insufficient, and the complex must
additionally satisfy a variant of coboundary expansion, which we refer to as \emph{Unique-Games coboundary expanders}. This property can be seen as a high-dimensional generalization of the standard notion of coboundary expansion over non-Abelian groups for 2-dimensional complexes. It asserts that any locally consistent Unique-Games instance obtained using the low-level faces of the complex, must admit a good global solution.

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