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Properties of NPcomplete sets
 In Proceedings of the 19th IEEE Conference on Computational Complexity
, 2004
"... We study several properties of sets that are complete for NP. We prove that if L is an NPcomplete set and S � ⊇ L is a pselective sparse set, then L − S is ≤p mhard for NP. We demonstrate existence of a sparse set S ∈ DTIME(22n) such that for every L ∈ NP − P, L − S is not ≤p mhard for NP. Moreo ..."
Abstract

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We study several properties of sets that are complete for NP. We prove that if L is an NPcomplete set and S � ⊇ L is a pselective sparse set, then L − S is ≤p mhard for NP. We demonstrate existence of a sparse set S ∈ DTIME(22n) such that for every L ∈ NP − P, L − S is not ≤p mhard for NP. Moreover, we prove for every L ∈ NP − P, that there exists a sparse S ∈ EXP such that L − S is not ≤ p mhard for NP. Hence, removing sparse information in P from a complete set leaves the set complete, while removing sparse information in EXP from a complete set may destroy its completeness. Previously, these properties were known only for exponential time complexity classes. We use hypotheses about pseudorandom generators and secure oneway permutations to derive consequences for longstanding open questions about whether NPcomplete sets are immune. For example, assuming that pseudorandom generators and secure oneway permutations exist, it follows easily that NPcomplete sets are not pimmune. Assuming only that secure oneway permutations exist, we prove that no NPcomplete set is DTIME(2nɛ)immune. Also, using these hypotheses we show that no NPcomplete set is quasipolynomialclose to P. We introduce a strong but reasonable hypothesis and infer from it that disjoint Turingcomplete sets for NP are not closed under union. Our hypothesis asserts existence of a UPmachine M that accepts 0 ∗ such that for some 0 < ɛ < 1, no 2nɛ timebounded machine can correctly compute infinitely many accepting computations of M. We show that if UP∩coUP contains DTIME(2nɛ)biimmune sets, then this hypothesis is true.