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Arithmetic Circuits: a survey of recent results and open questions
"... A large class of problems in symbolic computation can be expressed as the task of computing some polynomials; and arithmetic circuits form the most standard model for studying the complexity of such computations. This algebraic model of computation attracted a large amount of research in the last fi ..."
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Cited by 62 (5 self)
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A large class of problems in symbolic computation can be expressed as the task of computing some polynomials; and arithmetic circuits form the most standard model for studying the complexity of such computations. This algebraic model of computation attracted a large amount of research in the last five decades, partially due to its simplicity and elegance. Being a more structured model than Boolean circuits, one could hope that the fundamental problems of theoretical computer science, such as separating P from NP, will be easier to solve for arithmetic circuits. However, in spite of the appearing simplicity and the vast amount of mathematical tools available, no major breakthrough has been seen. In fact, all the fundamental questions are still open for this model as well. Nevertheless, there has been a lot of progress in the area and beautiful results have been found, some in the last few years. As examples we mention the connection between polynomial identity testing and lower bounds of Kabanets and Impagliazzo, the lower bounds of Raz for multilinear formulas, and two new approaches for proving lower bounds: Geometric Complexity Theory and Elusive Functions. The goal of this monograph is to survey the field of arithmetic circuit complexity, focusing mainly on what we find to be the most interesting and accessible research directions. We aim to cover the main results and techniques, with an emphasis on works from the last two decades. In particular, we
Blackbox polynomial identity testing for depth 3 circuits
 IN PROCEEDINGS OF THE TWENTYFIRST ANNUAL IEEE CONFERENCE ON COMPUTATIONAL COMPLEXITY (CCC
, 2006
"... We study ΣΠΣ(k) circuits, i.e., depth three arithmetic circuits with top fanin k. We give the first deterministic polynomial time blackbox identity test for ΣΠΣ(k) circuits over the field Q of rational numbers, thus resolving a question posed by Klivans and Spielman (STOC 2001). Our main technical ..."
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Cited by 45 (9 self)
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We study ΣΠΣ(k) circuits, i.e., depth three arithmetic circuits with top fanin k. We give the first deterministic polynomial time blackbox identity test for ΣΠΣ(k) circuits over the field Q of rational numbers, thus resolving a question posed by Klivans and Spielman (STOC 2001). Our main technical result is a structural theorem for ΣΠΣ(k) circuits that compute the zero polynomial. In particular we show that if a ΣΠΣ(k) circuit C = ∑ i∈[k] Ai
Diagonal Circuit Identity Testing and Lower Bounds
, 2007
"... In this paper we give the first deterministic polynomial time algorithm for testing whether a diagonal depth3 circuit C(x1,..., xn) (i.e. C is a sum of powers of linear functions) is zero. We also prove an exponential lower bound showing that such a circuit will compute determinant or permanent onl ..."
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Cited by 31 (7 self)
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In this paper we give the first deterministic polynomial time algorithm for testing whether a diagonal depth3 circuit C(x1,..., xn) (i.e. C is a sum of powers of linear functions) is zero. We also prove an exponential lower bound showing that such a circuit will compute determinant or permanent only if there are exponentially many linear functions. Our techniques generalize to the following new results: 1. Suppose we are given a depth3 circuit (over any field F) of the form: C(x1,..., xn):= k� i=1 ℓ ei,1 i,1 · · · ℓei,s i,s where, the ℓi,j’s are linear functions living in F[x1,..., xn]. We can test whether C is zero deterministically in poly (nk, max{(1 + ei,1) · · · (1 + ei,s)  1 � i � k}) field operations. This immediately gives a deterministic poly(nk2 d) time identity test for general depth3 circuits of degree d. 2. We prove that if the above circuit C(x1,..., xn) computes the determinant � (or permanent) of an m × m formal matrix with a “small ” s = o then � m log m k = 2 Ω(m). Our lower bounds work for all fields F. (Previous exponential lower bounds for depth3 only work for nonzero characteristic.) 3. We present applications of our ideas to depth4 circuits and an exponentially faster identity test for homogeneous diagonal circuits (deterministically in poly(n k log(d)) field operations over finite fields).
FROM SYLVESTERGALLAI CONFIGURATIONS TO RANK BOUNDS: IMPROVED BLACKBOX IDENTITY TEST FOR DEPTH3 CIRCUITS
"... Abstract. We study the problem of identity testing for depth3 circuits of top fanin k and degree d (called ΣΠΣ(k, d) identities). We give a new structure theorem for such identities. A direct application of our theorem improves the known deterministic d kO(k) time blackbox identity test over ratio ..."
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Abstract. We study the problem of identity testing for depth3 circuits of top fanin k and degree d (called ΣΠΣ(k, d) identities). We give a new structure theorem for such identities. A direct application of our theorem improves the known deterministic d kO(k) time blackbox identity test over rationals (Kayal & Saraf, FOCS 2009) to one that takes d O(k2)time. Our structure theorem essentially says that the number of independent variables in a real depth3 identity is very small. This theorem settles affirmatively the stronger rank conjectures posed by Dvir & Shpilka (STOC 2005) and Kayal & Saraf (FOCS 2009). Our techniques provide a unified framework that actually beats all known rank bounds and hence gives the best running time (for every field) for blackbox identity tests. Our main theorem (almost optimally) pins down the relation between higher dimensional SylvesterGallai theorems and the rank of depth3 identities in a very transparent manner. The existence of this was hinted at by Dvir & Shpilka (STOC 2005), but first proven, for reals, by Kayal & Saraf (FOCS 2009). We introduce the concept of SylvesterGallai rank bounds for any field, and show the intimate connection between this and depth3 identity rank bounds. We also prove the first ever theorem about high dimensional SylvesterGallai configurations over any field. Our proofs and techniques are very different from previous results and devise a very interesting ensemble of combinatorics and algebra. The latter concepts are ideal theoretic and involve a new Chinese remainder theorem. Our proof methods explain the structure of any depth3 identity C: there is a nucleus of C that forms a low rank identity, while the remainder is a high dimensional SylvesterGallai configuration. 1.
An Almost Optimal Rank Bound for Depth3 Identities
"... Abstract—We show that the rank of a depth3 circuit (over any field) that is simple, minimal and zero is at most O(k 3 log d). The previous best rank bound known was 2 O(k2) (log d) k−2 by Dvir and Shpilka (STOC 2005). This almost resolves the rank question first posed by Dvir and Shpilka (as we als ..."
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Cited by 22 (7 self)
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Abstract—We show that the rank of a depth3 circuit (over any field) that is simple, minimal and zero is at most O(k 3 log d). The previous best rank bound known was 2 O(k2) (log d) k−2 by Dvir and Shpilka (STOC 2005). This almost resolves the rank question first posed by Dvir and Shpilka (as we also provide a simple and minimal identity of rank Ω(k log d)). Our rank bound significantly improves (dependence on k exponentially reduced) the best known deterministic blackbox identity tests for depth3 circuits by Karnin and Shpilka (CCC 2008). Our techniques also shed light on the factorization pattern of nonzero depth3 circuits, most strikingly: the rank of linear factors of a simple, minimal and nonzero depth3 circuit (over any field) is at most O(k 3 log d). The novel feature of this work is a new notion of maps between sets of linear forms, called ideal matchings, used to study depth3 circuits. We prove interesting structural results about depth3 identities using these techniques. We believe that these can lead to the goal of a deterministic polynomial time identity test for these circuits. I.
HardnessRandomness Tradeoffs for Bounded Depth Arithmetic Circuits
"... In this paper we show that lower bounds for bounded depth arithmetic circuits imply derandomization of polynomial identity testing for bounded depth arithmetic circuits. More formally, if there exists an explicit polynomial f(x1,..., xm) that cannot be computed by a depth d arithmetic circuit of sma ..."
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Cited by 22 (5 self)
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In this paper we show that lower bounds for bounded depth arithmetic circuits imply derandomization of polynomial identity testing for bounded depth arithmetic circuits. More formally, if there exists an explicit polynomial f(x1,..., xm) that cannot be computed by a depth d arithmetic circuit of small size then there exists an efficient deterministic algorithm to test whether a given depth d − 8 circuit is identically zero or not (assuming the individual degrees of the tested circuit are not too high). In particular, if we are guaranteed that the tested circuit computes a multilinear polynomial then we can perform the identity test efficiently. To the best of our knowledge this is the first hardnessrandomness tradeoff for bounded depth arithmetic circuits. The above results are obtained using the the arithmetic NisanWigderson generator of [KI04] together with a new theorem on bounded depth circuits, which is the main technical contribution of our work. This theorem deals with polynomial equations of the form P (x1,..., xn, y) ≡ 0 and shows that if P has a circuit of depth d and size s and if the polynomial f(x1,..., xn) satisfies P (x1,..., xn, f(x1,..., xn)) ≡ 0 then f has a circuit of depth d + 3 and size O(s · r + m r), where m is the total degree of f and r is the degree of y in P.
Readonce Polynomial Identity Testing
"... An arithmetic readonce formula (ROF for short) is a formula (a circuit in which the fanout of every gate is at most 1) in which the operations are {+, ×} and such that every input variable labels at most one leaf. In this paper we study the problems of identity testing and reconstruction of readon ..."
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Cited by 21 (6 self)
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An arithmetic readonce formula (ROF for short) is a formula (a circuit in which the fanout of every gate is at most 1) in which the operations are {+, ×} and such that every input variable labels at most one leaf. In this paper we study the problems of identity testing and reconstruction of readonce formulas. the following are some of the results that we obtain. 1. Given k ROFs in n variables, over a field F, we give a deterministic (non blackbox) algorithm that checks whether they sum to zero or not. The running time of the algorithm is n O(k2). 2. We give an n O(d+k2) time deterministic algorithm for checking whether a black box holding the sum of k depth d ROFs in n variables computes the zero polynomial. In other words, we provide a hitting set of size n O(d+k2) for the sum of k depth d ROFs. If F  is too small then we make queries from a polynomial size extension field. This implies a deterministic algorithm that runs in time n O(d) for the reconstruction of depth d ROFs. 3. We give a hitting set of size exp ( Õ( √ n + k 2)) for the sum of k ROFs (without depth restrictions). In particular this implies a subexponential time deterministic algorithm for
Blackbox identity testing for bounded top fanin depth3 circuits: the field doesn’t matter
 In Proceedings of the 43rd annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC
, 2011
"... Abstract. Let C be a depth3 circuit with n variables, degree d and top fanin k (called ΣΠΣ(k, d, n) circuits) over base field F. It is a major open problem to design a deterministic polynomial time blackbox algorithm that tests if C is identically zero. Klivans & Spielman (STOC 2001) observed ..."
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Cited by 18 (5 self)
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Abstract. Let C be a depth3 circuit with n variables, degree d and top fanin k (called ΣΠΣ(k, d, n) circuits) over base field F. It is a major open problem to design a deterministic polynomial time blackbox algorithm that tests if C is identically zero. Klivans & Spielman (STOC 2001) observed that the problem is open even when k is a constant. This case has been subjected to a serious study over the past few years, starting from the work of Dvir & Shpilka (STOC 2005). We give the first polynomial time blackbox algorithm for this problem. Our algorithm runs in time poly(n)dk, regardless of the base field. The only field for which polynomial time algorithms were previously known is F = Q (Kayal & Saraf, FOCS 2009, and Saxena & Seshadhri, FOCS 2010). This is the first blackbox algorithm for depth3 circuits that does not use the rank based approaches of Karnin & Shpilka (CCC 2008). We prove an important tool for the study of depth3 identities. We design a blackbox polynomial time transformation that reduces the number of variables in a ΣΠΣ(k, d, n) circuit to k variables, but preserves the identity structure. Key words. depth3 circuits; polynomial identity testing; derandomization; blackbox; Chinese remaindering; algebra homomorphism
Black Box Polynomial Identity Testing of Depth3 Arithmetic Circuits with Bounded Top Fanin
, 2007
"... In this paper we consider the problem of determining whether an unknown arithmetic circuit, for which we have oracle access, computes the identically zero polynomial. Our focus is on depth3 circuits with a bounded top fanin. We obtain the following results. 1. A quasipolynomial time deterministic ..."
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Cited by 18 (5 self)
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In this paper we consider the problem of determining whether an unknown arithmetic circuit, for which we have oracle access, computes the identically zero polynomial. Our focus is on depth3 circuits with a bounded top fanin. We obtain the following results. 1. A quasipolynomial time deterministic blackbox identity testing algorithm for ΣΠΣ(k) circuits (depth3 circuits with top fanin equal k). 2. A randomized blackbox algorithm for identity testing of ΣΠΣ(k) circuits, that uses a polylogarithmic number of random bits, and makes a single query to the blackbox. 3. A polynomial time deterministic blackbox identity testing algorithm for multilinear ΣΠΣ(k) circuits (each multiplication gate computes a multilinear polynomial). Another way of stating our results is in terms of test sets for the underlying circuit model. A test set is a set of points such that if two circuits give the same value on every point of the set then they compute the same polynomial. Thus, our first result gives an explicit test set, of quasipolynomial size, for ΣΠΣ(k) circuits. Our second result yields an explicit test set that any two different ΣΠΣ(k) circuits are different on most points of the set. Our last result gives an
Progress on Polynomial Identity Testing
"... Polynomial identity testing (PIT) is the problem of checking whether a given arithmetic circuit is the zero circuit. PIT ranks as one of the most important open problems in the intersection of algebra and computational complexity. In the last few years, there has been an impressive progress on this ..."
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Polynomial identity testing (PIT) is the problem of checking whether a given arithmetic circuit is the zero circuit. PIT ranks as one of the most important open problems in the intersection of algebra and computational complexity. In the last few years, there has been an impressive progress on this problem but a complete solution might take a while. In this article we give a soft survey exhibiting the ideas that have been useful. 1