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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
Nonuniform ACC circuit lower bounds
, 2010
"... The class ACC consists of circuit families with constant depth over unbounded fanin AND, OR, NOT, and MODm gates, where m> 1 is an arbitrary constant. We prove: • NTIME[2 n] does not have nonuniform ACC circuits of polynomial size. The size lower bound can be slightly strengthened to quasipoly ..."
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Cited by 51 (8 self)
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The class ACC consists of circuit families with constant depth over unbounded fanin AND, OR, NOT, and MODm gates, where m> 1 is an arbitrary constant. We prove: • NTIME[2 n] does not have nonuniform ACC circuits of polynomial size. The size lower bound can be slightly strengthened to quasipolynomials and other less natural functions. • ENP, the class of languages recognized in 2O(n) time with an NP oracle, doesn’t have nonuniform ACC circuits of 2no(1) size. The lower bound gives an exponential sizedepth tradeoff: for every d there is a δ> 0 such that ENP doesn’t have depthd ACC circuits of size 2nδ. Previously, it was not known whether EXP NP had depth3 polynomial size circuits made out of only MOD6 gates. The highlevel strategy is to design faster algorithms for the circuit satisfiability problem over ACC circuits, then prove that such algorithms entail the above lower bounds. The algorithm combines known properties of ACC with fast rectangular matrix multiplication and dynamic programming, while the second step requires a subtle strengthening of the author’s prior work [STOC’10]. Supported by the Josef Raviv Memorial Fellowship.
Computational and Statistical Tradeoffs via Convex Relaxation
, 2012
"... In modern data analysis, one is frequently faced with statistical inference problems involving massive datasets. Processing such large datasets is usually viewed as a substantial computational challenge. However, if data are a statistician’s main resource then access to more data should be viewed as ..."
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Cited by 45 (1 self)
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In modern data analysis, one is frequently faced with statistical inference problems involving massive datasets. Processing such large datasets is usually viewed as a substantial computational challenge. However, if data are a statistician’s main resource then access to more data should be viewed as an asset rather than as a burden. In this paper we describe a computational framework based on convex relaxation to reduce the computational complexity of an inference procedure when one has access to increasingly larger datasets. Convex relaxation techniques have been widely used in theoretical computer science as they give tractable approximation algorithms to many computationally intractable tasks. We demonstrate the efficacy of this methodology in statistical estimation in providing concrete timedata tradeoffs in a class of denoising problems. Thus, convex relaxation offers a principled approach to exploit the statistical gains from larger datasets to reduce the runtime of inference algorithms.
Practical Verified Computation with Streaming Interactive Proofs
"... When delegating computation to a service provider, as in the cloud computing paradigm, we seek some reassurance that the output is correct and complete. Yet recomputing the output as a check is inefficient and expensive, and it may not even be feasible to store all the data locally. We are therefore ..."
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Cited by 38 (7 self)
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When delegating computation to a service provider, as in the cloud computing paradigm, we seek some reassurance that the output is correct and complete. Yet recomputing the output as a check is inefficient and expensive, and it may not even be feasible to store all the data locally. We are therefore interested in what can be validated by a streaming (sublinear space) user, who cannot store the full input, or perform the full computation herself. Our aim in this work is to advance a recent line of work on “proof systems ” in which the service provider proves the correctness of its output to a user. The goal is to minimize the time and space costs of both parties in generating and checking the proof. Only very recently have there been attempts to implement such proof systems, and thus far these have been quite limited in
Improving Exhaustive Search Implies Superpolynomial Lower Bounds
, 2009
"... The P vs NP problem arose from the question of whether exhaustive search is necessary for problems with short verifiable solutions. We do not know if even a slight algorithmic improvement over exhaustive search is universally possible for all NP problems, and to date no major consequences have been ..."
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Cited by 37 (7 self)
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The P vs NP problem arose from the question of whether exhaustive search is necessary for problems with short verifiable solutions. We do not know if even a slight algorithmic improvement over exhaustive search is universally possible for all NP problems, and to date no major consequences have been derived from the assumption that an improvement exists. We show that there are natural NP and BPP problems for which minor algorithmic improvements over the trivial deterministic simulation already entail lower bounds such as NEXP ̸ ⊆ P/poly and LOGSPACE ̸ = NP. These results are especially interesting given that similar improvements have been found for many other hard problems. Optimistically, one might hope our results suggest a new path to lower bounds; pessimistically, they show that carrying out the seemingly modest program of finding slightly better algorithms for all search problems may be extremely difficult (if not impossible). We also prove unconditional superpolynomial timespace lower bounds for improving on exhaustive search: there is a problem verifiable with k(n) length witnesses in O(n a) time (for some a and some function k(n) ≤ n) that cannot be solved in k(n) c n a+o(1) time and k(n) c n o(1) space, for every c ≥ 1. While such problems can always be solved by exhaustive search in O(2 k(n) n a) time and O(k(n) + n a) space, we can prove a superpolynomial lower bound in the parameter k(n) when space usage is restricted.
Selfimproving algorithms
 in SODA ’06: Proceedings of the seventeenth annual ACMSIAM symposium on Discrete algorithm
"... We investigate ways in which an algorithm can improve its expected performance by finetuning itself automatically with respect to an arbitrary, unknown input distribution. We give such selfimproving algorithms for sorting and computing Delaunay triangulations. The highlights of this work: (i) an al ..."
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Cited by 33 (6 self)
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We investigate ways in which an algorithm can improve its expected performance by finetuning itself automatically with respect to an arbitrary, unknown input distribution. We give such selfimproving algorithms for sorting and computing Delaunay triangulations. The highlights of this work: (i) an algorithm to sort a list of numbers with optimal expected limiting complexity; and (ii) an algorithm to compute the Delaunay triangulation of a set of points with optimal expected limiting complexity. In both cases, the algorithm begins with a training phase during which it adjusts itself to the input distribution, followed by a stationary regime in which the algorithm settles to its optimized incarnation. 1
Verifying computations with streaming interactive proofs
 In Proceedings of the 1st Symposium on Innovations in Computer Science
, 2010
"... When computation is outsourced, the data owner would like to be assured that the desired computation has been performed correctly by the service provider. In theory, proof systems can give the necessary assurance, but prior work is not sufficiently scalable or practical. In this paper, we develop ne ..."
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Cited by 26 (8 self)
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When computation is outsourced, the data owner would like to be assured that the desired computation has been performed correctly by the service provider. In theory, proof systems can give the necessary assurance, but prior work is not sufficiently scalable or practical. In this paper, we develop new proof protocols for verifying computations which are streaming in nature: the verifier (data owner) needs only logarithmic space and a single pass over the input, and after observing the input follows a simple protocol with a prover (service provider) that takes logarithmic communication spread over a logarithmic number of rounds. These ensure that the computation is performed correctly: that the service provider has not made any errors or missed out some data. The guarantee is very strong: even if the service provider deliberately tries to cheat, there is only vanishingly small probability of doing so undetected, while a correct computation is always accepted. We first observe that some theoretical results can be modified to work with streaming verifiers, showing that there are efficient protocols for problems in the complexity classes NP and NC. Our main results then seek to bridge the gap between theory and practice by developing usable protocols for a variety of problems of central importance in streaming and database processing. All these problems require linear space in the traditional streaming model, and therefore our protocols demonstrate that adding a prover can exponentially reduce the effort needed by the verifier. Our experimental results show that our protocols are practical and scalable. 1.
Resolving the conflict between generality and plausibility in verified computation. Cryptology ePrint Archive,
, 2012
"... Abstract. The area of proofbased verified computation (outsourced computation built atop probabilistically checkable proofs and cryptographic machinery) has lately seen renewed interest. Although recent work has made great strides in reducing the overhead of naive applications of the theory, these ..."
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Cited by 25 (5 self)
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Abstract. The area of proofbased verified computation (outsourced computation built atop probabilistically checkable proofs and cryptographic machinery) has lately seen renewed interest. Although recent work has made great strides in reducing the overhead of naive applications of the theory, these schemes still cannot be considered practical. A core issue is that the work for the server is immense, in general; it is practical only for handcompiled computations that can be expressed in special forms. This paper addresses that problem. Provided one is willing to batch verification, we develop a protocol that achieves the efficiency of the best manually constructed protocols in the literature yet applies to most computations. We show that Quadratic Arithmetic Programs, a new formalism for representing computations efficiently, can yield a particularly efficient PCP that integrates easily into the core protocols, resulting in a server whose work is roughly linear in the running time of the computation. We implement this protocol in the context of a system, called Zaatar, that includes a compiler and a GPU implementation. Zaatar is almost usable for real problemswithout specialpurpose tailoring. We argue that many (but not all) of the next research questions in verified computation are questions in secure systems.
A hybrid architecture for interactive verifiable computation
 In IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy
, 2013
"... Abstract—We consider interactive, proofbased verifiable computation: how can a client machine specify a computation to a server, receive an answer, and then engage the server in an interactive protocol that convinces the client that the answer is correct, with less work for the client than executin ..."
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Cited by 25 (3 self)
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Abstract—We consider interactive, proofbased verifiable computation: how can a client machine specify a computation to a server, receive an answer, and then engage the server in an interactive protocol that convinces the client that the answer is correct, with less work for the client than executing the computation in the first place? Complexity theory and cryptography offer solutions in principle, but if implemented naively, they are ludicrously expensive. Recently, however, several strands of work have refined this theory and implemented the resulting protocols in actual systems. This work is promising but suffers from one of two problems: either it relies on expensive cryptography, or else it applies to a restricted class of computations. Worse, it is not always clear which protocol will perform better for a given problem. We describe a system that (a) extends optimized refinements of the noncryptographic protocols to a much broader class of computations, (b) uses static analysis to fail over to the cryptographic ones when the noncryptographic ones would be more expensive, and (c) incorporates this core into a built system that includes a compiler for a highlevel language, a distributed server, and GPU acceleration. Experimental results indicate that our system performs better and applies more widely than the best in the literature. 1
Computational complexity of the landscape
 I
"... Abstract: We study the computational complexity of the physical problem of finding vacua of string theory which agree with data, such as the cosmological constant, and show that such problems are typically NP hard. In particular, we prove that in the BoussoPolchinski model, the problem is NP comple ..."
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Abstract: We study the computational complexity of the physical problem of finding vacua of string theory which agree with data, such as the cosmological constant, and show that such problems are typically NP hard. In particular, we prove that in the BoussoPolchinski model, the problem is NP complete. We discuss the issues this raises and the possibility that, even if we were to find compelling evidence that some vacuum of string theory describes our universe, we might never be able to find that vacuum explicitly. In a companion paper, we apply this point of view to the question of how early cosmology might select a vacuum. Contents