skip to main content

Title: Testing k-Monotonicity
A Boolean {\em $k$-monotone} function defined over a finite poset domain ${\cal D}$ alternates between the values $0$ and $1$ at most $k$ times on any ascending chain in ${\cal D}$. Therefore, $k$-monotone functions are natural generalizations of the classical {\em monotone} functions, which are the {\em $1$-monotone} functions. Motivated by the recent interest in $k$-monotone functions in the context of circuit complexity and learning theory, and by the central role that monotonicity testing plays in the context of property testing, we initiate a systematic study of $k$-monotone functions, in the property testing model. In this model, the goal is to distinguish functions that are $k$-monotone (or are close to being $k$-monotone) from functions that are far from being $k$-monotone. Our results include the following: \begin{enumerate} \item We demonstrate a separation between testing $k$-monotonicity and testing monotonicity, on the hypercube domain $\{0,1\}^d$, for $k\geq 3$; \item We demonstrate a separation between testing and learning on $\{0,1\}^d$, for $k=\omega(\log d)$: testing $k$-monotonicity can be performed with $2^{O(\sqrt d \cdot \log d\cdot \log{1/\eps})}$ queries, while learning $k$-monotone functions requires $2^{\Omega(k\cdot \sqrt d\cdot{1/\eps})}$ queries (Blais et al. (RANDOM 2015)). \item We present a tolerant test for functions $f\colon[n]^d\to \{0,1\}$ with complexity independent of $n$, which makes progress on a more » problem left open by Berman et al. (STOC 2014). \end{enumerate} Our techniques exploit the testing-by-learning paradigm, use novel applications of Fourier analysis on the grid $[n]^d$, and draw connections to distribution testing techniques. « less
; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The noise sensitivity of a Boolean function f: {0,1}^n - > {0,1} is one of its fundamental properties. For noise parameter delta, the noise sensitivity is denoted as NS_{delta}[f]. This quantity is defined as follows: First, pick x = (x_1,...,x_n) uniformly at random from {0,1}^n, then pick z by flipping each x_i independently with probability delta. NS_{delta}[f] is defined to equal Pr [f(x) != f(z)]. Much of the existing literature on noise sensitivity explores the following two directions: (1) Showing that functions with low noise-sensitivity are structured in certain ways. (2) Mathematically showing that certain classes of functions have low noise sensitivity. Combined, these two research directions show that certain classes of functions have low noise sensitivity and therefore have useful structure. The fundamental importance of noise sensitivity, together with this wealth of structural results, motivates the algorithmic question of approximating NS_{delta}[f] given an oracle access to the function f. We show that the standard sampling approach is essentially optimal for general Boolean functions. Therefore, we focus on estimating the noise sensitivity of monotone functions, which form an important subclass of Boolean functions, since many functions of interest are either monotone or can be simply transformed into a monotone functionmore »(for example the class of unate functions consists of all the functions that can be made monotone by reorienting some of their coordinates [O'Donnell, 2014]). Specifically, we study the algorithmic problem of approximating NS_{delta}[f] for monotone f, given the promise that NS_{delta}[f] >= 1/n^{C} for constant C, and for delta in the range 1/n <= delta <= 1/2. For such f and delta, we give a randomized algorithm performing O((min(1,sqrt{n} delta log^{1.5} n))/(NS_{delta}[f]) poly (1/epsilon)) queries and approximating NS_{delta}[f] to within a multiplicative factor of (1 +/- epsilon). Given the same constraints on f and delta, we also prove a lower bound of Omega((min(1,sqrt{n} delta))/(NS_{delta}[f] * n^{xi})) on the query complexity of any algorithm that approximates NS_{delta}[f] to within any constant factor, where xi can be any positive constant. Thus, our algorithm's query complexity is close to optimal in terms of its dependence on n. We introduce a novel descending-ascending view of noise sensitivity, and use it as a central tool for the analysis of our algorithm. To prove lower bounds on query complexity, we develop a technique that reduces computational questions about query complexity to combinatorial questions about the existence of "thin" functions with certain properties. The existence of such "thin" functions is proved using the probabilistic method. These techniques also yield new lower bounds on the query complexity of approximating other fundamental properties of Boolean functions: the total influence and the bias.« less
  2. We present an algorithm that, with high probability, generates a random spanning tree from an edge-weighted undirected graph in \Otil(n^{5/3 }m^{1/3}) time\footnote{The \Otil(\cdot) notation hides \poly(\log n) factors}. The tree is sampled from a distribution where the probability of each tree is proportional to the product of its edge weights. This improves upon the previous best algorithm due to Colbourn et al. that runs in matrix multiplication time, O(n^\omega). For the special case of unweighted graphs, this improves upon the best previously known running time of \tilde{O}(\min\{n^{\omega},m\sqrt{n},m^{4/3}\}) for m >> n^{7/4} (Colbourn et al. '96, Kelner-Madry '09, Madry et al. '15). The effective resistance metric is essential to our algorithm, as in the work of Madry et al., but we eschew determinant-based and random walk-based techniques used by previous algorithms. Instead, our algorithm is based on Gaussian elimination, and the fact that effective resistance is preserved in the graph resulting from eliminating a subset of vertices (called a Schur complement). As part of our algorithm, we show how to compute \eps-approximate effective resistances for a set SS of vertex pairs via approximate Schur complements in \Otil(m+(n + |S|)\eps^{-2}) time, without using the Johnson-Lindenstrauss lemma which requires \Otil( \min\{(m + |S|)\eps^{-2},more »m+n\eps^{-4} +|S|\eps^{-2}\}) time. We combine this approximation procedure with an error correction procedure for handing edges where our estimate isn't sufficiently accurate.« less
  3. We design a nonadaptive algorithm that, given a Boolean function f: {0, 1}^n → {0, 1} which is α-far from monotone, makes poly(n, 1/α) queries and returns an estimate that, with high probability, is an O-tilde(\sqrt{n})-approximation to the distance of f to monotonicity. Furthermore, we show that for any constant k > 0, approximating the distance to monotonicity up to n^(1/2−k)-factor requires 2^{n^k} nonadaptive queries, thereby ruling out a poly(n, 1/α)-query nonadaptive algorithm for such approximations. This answers a question of Seshadhri (Property Testing Review, 2014) for the case of nonadaptive algorithms. Approximating the distance to a property is closely related to tolerantly testing that property. Our lower bound stands in contrast to standard (non-tolerant) testing of monotonicity that can be done nonadaptively with O-tilde(n/ε^2) queries. We obtain our lower bound by proving an analogous bound for erasure-resilient testers. An α-erasure-resilient tester for a desired property gets oracle access to a function that has at most an α fraction of values erased. The tester has to accept (with probability at least 2/3) if the erasures can be filled in to ensure that the resulting function has the property and to reject (with probability at least 2/3) if every completion ofmore »erasures results in a function that is ε-far from having the property. Our method yields the same lower bounds for unateness and being a k-junta. These lower bounds improve exponentially on the existing lower bounds for these properties.« less
  4. In this work, we show that for a nontrivial hypothesis class C, we can estimate the distance of a target function f to C (estimate the error rate of the best h∈C) using substantially fewer labeled examples than would be needed to actually {\em learn} a good h∈C. Specifically, we show that for the class C of unions of d intervals on the line, in the active learning setting in which we have access to a pool of unlabeled examples drawn from an arbitrary underlying distribution D, we can estimate the error rate of the best h∈C to an additive error ϵ with a number of label requests that is {\em independent of d} and depends only on ϵ. In particular, we make O((1/ϵ^6)log(1/ϵ)) label queries to an unlabeled pool of size O((d/ϵ^2)log(1/ϵ)). This task of estimating the distance of an unknown f to a given class C is called {\em tolerant testing} or {\em distance estimation} in the testing literature, usually studied in a membership query model and with respect to the uniform distribution. Our work extends that of Balcan et al. (2012) who solved the {\em non}-tolerant testing problem for this class (distinguishing the zero-error case from themore »case that the best hypothesis in the class has error greater than ϵ). We also consider the related problem of estimating the performance of a given learning algorithm A in this setting. That is, given a large pool of unlabeled examples drawn from distribution D, can we, from only a few label queries, estimate how well A would perform if the entire dataset were labeled and given as training data to A? We focus on k-Nearest Neighbor style algorithms, and also show how our results can be applied to the problem of hyperparameter tuning (selecting the best value of k for the given learning problem).« less
  5. This paper focuses on showing time-message trade-offs in distributed algorithms for fundamental problems such as leader election, broadcast, spanning tree (ST), minimum spanning tree (MST), minimum cut, and many graph verification problems. We consider the synchronous CONGEST distributed computing model and assume that each node has initial knowledge of itself and the identifiers of its neighbors - the so-called KT_1 model - a well-studied model that also naturally arises in many applications. Recently, it has been established that one can obtain (almost) singularly optimal algorithms, i.e., algorithms that have simultaneously optimal time and message complexity (up to polylogarithmic factors), for many fundamental problems in the standard KT_0 model (where nodes have only local knowledge of themselves and not their neighbors). The situation is less clear in the KT_1 model. In this paper, we present several new distributed algorithms in the KT_1 model that trade off between time and message complexity. Our distributed algorithms are based on a uniform and general approach which involves constructing a sparsified spanning subgraph of the original graph - called a danner - that trades off the number of edges with the diameter of the sparsifier. In particular, a key ingredient of our approach is amore »distributed randomized algorithm that, given a graph G and any delta in [0,1], with high probability constructs a danner that has diameter O~(D + n^{1-delta}) and O~(min{m,n^{1+delta}}) edges in O~(n^{1-delta}) rounds while using O~(min{m,n^{1+delta}}) messages, where n, m, and D are the number of nodes, edges, and the diameter of G, respectively. Using our danner construction, we present a family of distributed randomized algorithms for various fundamental problems that exhibit a trade-off between message and time complexity and that improve over previous results. Specifically, we show the following results (all hold with high probability) in the KT_1 model, which subsume and improve over prior bounds in the KT_1 model (King et al., PODC 2014 and Awerbuch et al., JACM 1990) and the KT_0 model (Kutten et al., JACM 2015, Pandurangan et al., STOC 2017 and Elkin, PODC 2017): 1) Leader Election, Broadcast, and ST. These problems can be solved in O~(D+n^{1-delta}) rounds using O~(min{m,n^{1+delta}}) messages for any delta in [0,1]. 2) MST and Connectivity. These problems can be solved in O~(D+n^{1-delta}) rounds using O~(min{m,n^{1+delta}}) messages for any delta in [0,0.5]. In particular, for delta = 0.5 we obtain a distributed MST algorithm that runs in optimal O~(D+sqrt{n}) rounds and uses O~(min{m,n^{3/2}}) messages. We note that this improves over the singularly optimal algorithm in the KT_0 model that uses O~(D+sqrt{n}) rounds and O~(m) messages. 3) Minimum Cut. O(log n)-approximate minimum cut can be solved in O~(D+n^{1-delta}) rounds using O~(min{m,n^{1+delta}}) messages for any delta in [0,0.5]. 4) Graph Verification Problems such as Bipartiteness, Spanning Subgraph etc. These can be solved in O~(D+n^{1-delta}) rounds using O~(min{m,n^{1+delta}}) messages for any delta in [0,0.5].« less