@MISC{Braverman_zero-onefrequency, author = {Vladimir Braverman and Rafail Ostrovsky}, title = {Zero-One Frequency Laws}, year = {} }

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Abstract

Data streams emerged as a critical model for multiple applications that handle vast amounts of data. One of the most influential and celebrated papers in streaming is the “AMS ” paper on computing frequency moments by Alon, Matias and Szegedy. The main question left open (and explicitly asked) by AMS in 1996 is to give the precise characterization for which functions G on frequency vectors mi (1 ≤ i ≤ n) can ∑ i∈[n] G(mi) be approximated efficiently, where “efficiently ” means by a single pass over data stream and poly-logarithmic memory. No such characterization was known despite a tremendous amount of research on frequency-based functions in streaming literature. In this paper we finally resolve the AMS main question and give a precise characterization (in fact, a zero-one law) for all monotonically increasing functions on frequencies that are zero at the origin. That is, we consider all monotonic functions G: R ↦ → R such that G(0) = 0 and G can be computed in poly-logarithmic time and space and ask, for which G in this class is there an (1±ɛ)-approximation algorithm for computing ∑ i∈[n] G(mi) for any polylogarithmic ɛ? We give an algebraic characterization for all such G so that: • For all functions G in our class that satisfy our algebraic condition, we provide a very general and constructive way to derive an efficient (1±ɛ)-approximation algorithm for computing ∑ i∈[n] G(mi) with polylogarithmic memory and a single pass over data stream; while • For all functions G in our class that do not satisfy our algebraic characterization, we show a lower bound