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Detecting lacunary perfect powers and computing their roots
, 2009
"... We consider the problem of determining whether a lacunary (also called a sparse or supersparse) polynomial f is a perfect power, that is, f = h r for some other polynomial h and r ∈ N, and of finding h and r should they exist. We show how to determine if f is a perfect power in time polynomial in t ..."
Abstract

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We consider the problem of determining whether a lacunary (also called a sparse or supersparse) polynomial f is a perfect power, that is, f = h r for some other polynomial h and r ∈ N, and of finding h and r should they exist. We show how to determine if f is a perfect power in time polynomial in the number of nonzero terms of f, and in terms of log deg f, i.e., polynomial in the size of the lacunary representation. The algorithm works over Fq[x] (for large characteristic) and over Z[x], where the cost is also polynomial in log ‖f‖∞. We also give a Monte Carlo algorithm to find h if it exists, for which our proposed algorithm requires polynomial time in the output size, i.e., the sparsity and height of h. Conjectures of Erdös and Schinzel, and recent work of Zannier, suggest that h must be sparse. Subject to a slightly stronger conjectures we give an extremely efficient algorithm to find h via a form of sparse Newton iteration. We demonstrate the efficiency of these algorithms with an implementation using the C++ library NTL. 1.