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Proof verification and hardness of approximation problems
 IN PROC. 33RD ANN. IEEE SYMP. ON FOUND. OF COMP. SCI
, 1992
"... We show that every language in NP has a probablistic verifier that checks membership proofs for it using logarithmic number of random bits and by examining a constant number of bits in the proof. If a string is in the language, then there exists a proof such that the verifier accepts with probabilit ..."
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Cited by 726 (46 self)
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We show that every language in NP has a probablistic verifier that checks membership proofs for it using logarithmic number of random bits and by examining a constant number of bits in the proof. If a string is in the language, then there exists a proof such that the verifier accepts with probability 1 (i.e., for every choice of its random string). For strings not in the language, the verifier rejects every provided “proof " with probability at least 1/2. Our result builds upon and improves a recent result of Arora and Safra [6] whose verifiers examine a nonconstant number of bits in the proof (though this number is a very slowly growing function of the input length). As a consequence we prove that no MAX SNPhard problem has a polynomial time approximation scheme, unless NP=P. The class MAX SNP was defined by Papadimitriou and Yannakakis [82] and hard problems for this class include vertex cover, maximum satisfiability, maximum cut, metric TSP, Steiner trees and shortest superstring. We also improve upon the clique hardness results of Feige, Goldwasser, Lovász, Safra and Szegedy [42], and Arora and Safra [6] and shows that there exists a positive ɛ such that approximating the maximum clique size in an Nvertex graph to within a factor of N ɛ is NPhard.
Probabilistic checking of proofs: a new characterization of NP
 Journal of the ACM
, 1998
"... Abstract. We give a new characterization of NP: the class NP contains exactly those languages L for which membership proofs (a proof that an input x is in L) can be verified probabilistically in polynomial time using logarithmic number of random bits and by reading sublogarithmic number of bits from ..."
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Cited by 368 (28 self)
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Abstract. We give a new characterization of NP: the class NP contains exactly those languages L for which membership proofs (a proof that an input x is in L) can be verified probabilistically in polynomial time using logarithmic number of random bits and by reading sublogarithmic number of bits from the proof. We discuss implications of this characterization; specifically, we show that approximating Clique and Independent Set, even in a very weak sense, is NPhard.
SelfTesting/Correcting with Applications to Numerical Problems
, 1990
"... Suppose someone gives us an extremely fast program P that we can call as a black box to compute a function f . Should we trust that P works correctly? A selftesting/correcting pair allows us to: (1) estimate the probability that P (x) 6= f(x) when x is randomly chosen; (2) on any input x, compute ..."
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Cited by 347 (27 self)
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Suppose someone gives us an extremely fast program P that we can call as a black box to compute a function f . Should we trust that P works correctly? A selftesting/correcting pair allows us to: (1) estimate the probability that P (x) 6= f(x) when x is randomly chosen; (2) on any input x, compute f(x) correctly as long as P is not too faulty on average. Furthermore, both (1) and (2) take time only slightly more than Computer Science Division, U.C. Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, Supported by NSF Grant No. CCR 8813632. y International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley, California 94704 z Computer Science Division, U.C. Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, Supported by an IBM Graduate Fellowship and NSF Grant No. CCR 8813632. the original running time of P . We present general techniques for constructing simple to program selftesting /correcting pairs for a variety of numerical problems, including integer multiplication, modular multiplication, matrix multiplicatio...
Robust Characterizations of Polynomials with Applications to Program Testing
, 1996
"... The study of selftesting and selfcorrecting programs leads to the search for robust characterizations of functions. Here we make this notion precise and show such a characterization for polynomials. From this characterization, we get the following applications. ..."
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Cited by 332 (39 self)
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The study of selftesting and selfcorrecting programs leads to the search for robust characterizations of functions. Here we make this notion precise and show such a characterization for polynomials. From this characterization, we get the following applications.
A SubConstant ErrorProbability LowDegree Test, and a SubConstant ErrorProbability PCP Characterization of NP
 IN PROC. 29TH ACM SYMP. ON THEORY OF COMPUTING, 475484. EL PASO
, 1997
"... We introduce a new lowdegreetest, one that uses the restriction of lowdegree polynomials to planes (i.e., affine subspaces of dimension 2), rather than the restriction to lines (i.e., affine subspaces of dimension 1). We prove the new test to be of a very small errorprobability (in particular, ..."
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Cited by 282 (21 self)
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We introduce a new lowdegreetest, one that uses the restriction of lowdegree polynomials to planes (i.e., affine subspaces of dimension 2), rather than the restriction to lines (i.e., affine subspaces of dimension 1). We prove the new test to be of a very small errorprobability (in particular, much smaller than constant). The new test enables us to prove a lowerror characterization of NP in terms of PCP. Specifically, our theorem states that, for any given ffl ? 0, membership in any NP language can be verified with O(1) accesses, each reading logarithmic number of bits, and such that the errorprobability is 2 \Gamma log 1\Gammaffl n . Our results are in fact stronger, as stated below. One application of the new characterization of NP is that approximating SETCOVER to within a logarithmic factors is NPhard. Previous analysis for lowdegreetests, as well as previous characterizations of NP in terms of PCP, have managed to achieve, with constant number of accesses, error...
Hardness Of Approximations
, 1996
"... This chapter is a selfcontained survey of recent results about the hardness of approximating NPhard optimization problems. ..."
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Cited by 102 (4 self)
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This chapter is a selfcontained survey of recent results about the hardness of approximating NPhard optimization problems.
Efficient Checking of Polynomials and Proofs and the Hardness of Approximation Problems
, 1992
"... The definition of the class NP [Coo71, Lev73] highlights the problem of verification of proofs as one of central interest to theoretical computer science. Recent efforts have shown that the efficiency of the verification can be greatly improved by allowing the verifier access to random bits and acce ..."
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Cited by 70 (9 self)
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The definition of the class NP [Coo71, Lev73] highlights the problem of verification of proofs as one of central interest to theoretical computer science. Recent efforts have shown that the efficiency of the verification can be greatly improved by allowing the verifier access to random bits and accepting probabilistic guarantees from the verifier [BFL91, BFLS91, FGL + 91, AS92]. We improve upon the efficiency of the proof systems developed above and obtain proofs which can be verified probabilistically by examining only a constant number of (randomly chosen) bits of the proof. The efficiently verifiable proofs constructed here rely on the structural properties of lowdegree polynomials. We explore the properties of these functions by examining some simple and basic questions about them. We consider questions of the form: • (testing) Given an oracle for a function f, is f close to a lowdegree polynomial? • (correcting) Let f be close to a lowdegree polynomial g, is it possible to efficiently reconstruct the value of g on any given input using an oracle for f? 2 The questions described above have been raised before in the context of coding theory as the problems of errordetecting and errorcorrecting of codes. More recently
Some Improvements to Total Degree Tests
, 1995
"... A lowdegree test is a collection of simple, local rules for checking the proximity of an arbitrary function to a lowdegree polynomial. Each rule depends on the function’s values at a small number of places. If a function satisfies many rules then it is close to a lowdegree polynomial. Lowdegree ..."
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Cited by 48 (11 self)
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A lowdegree test is a collection of simple, local rules for checking the proximity of an arbitrary function to a lowdegree polynomial. Each rule depends on the function’s values at a small number of places. If a function satisfies many rules then it is close to a lowdegree polynomial. Lowdegree tests play an important role in the development of probabilistically checkable proofs. In this paper we present two improvements to the efficiency of lowdegree tests. Our first improvement concerns the smallest field size over which a lowdegree test can work. We show how to test that a function is a degree d polynomial over prime fields of size only d + 2. Our second improvement shows a better efficiency of the lowdegree test of [ 141 than previously known. We show concrete applications of this improvement via the notion of “locally checkable codes”. This improvement translates into better tradeoffs on the size versus probe complexity of probabilistically checkable proofs than previously known.
On the Robustness of Functional Equations
 SIAM Journal on Computing
, 1994
"... In this paper, we study the general question of how characteristics of functional equations influence whether or not they are robust. We isolate examples of properties which are necessary for the functional equations to be robust. On the other hand, we show other properties which are sufficient for ..."
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Cited by 22 (2 self)
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In this paper, we study the general question of how characteristics of functional equations influence whether or not they are robust. We isolate examples of properties which are necessary for the functional equations to be robust. On the other hand, we show other properties which are sufficient for robustness. We then study a general class of functional equations, which are of the form 8x; y F [f(x \Gamma y); f(x + y); f(x); f(y)] = 0, where F is an algebraic function. We give conditions on such functional equations that imply robustness. Our results have applications to the area of selftesting/correcting programs. We show that selftesters and selfcorrectors can be found for many functions satisfying robust functional equations, including algebraic functions of trigonometric functions such as tan x; 1 1+cotx ; Ax 1\GammaAx ; cosh x. 1 Introduction The mathematical field of functional equations is concerned with the following prototypical problem: Given a set of properties (fun...
Transparent Proofs and Limits to Approximation
, 1994
"... We survey a major collective accomplishment of the theoretical computer science community on efficiently verifiable proofs. Informally, a formal proof is transparent (or holographic) if it can be verified with large confidence by a small number of spotchecks. Recent work by a large group of researc ..."
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Cited by 17 (0 self)
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We survey a major collective accomplishment of the theoretical computer science community on efficiently verifiable proofs. Informally, a formal proof is transparent (or holographic) if it can be verified with large confidence by a small number of spotchecks. Recent work by a large group of researchers has shown that this seemingly paradoxical concept can be formalized and is feasible in a remarkably strong sense; every formal proof in ZF, say, can be rewritten in transparent format (proving the same theorem in a different proof system) without increasing the length of the proof by too much. This result in turn has surprising implications for the intractability of approximate solutions of a wide range of discrete optimization problems, extending the pessimistic predictions of the PNP theory to approximate solvability. We discuss the main results on transparent proofs and their implications to discrete optimization. We give an account of several links between the two subjects as well ...