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Title: Lower Bounds Against Sparse Symmetric Functions of ACC Circuits: Expanding the Reach of #SAT Algorithms

We continue the program of proving circuit lower bounds via circuit satisfiability algorithms. So far, this program has yielded several concrete results, proving that functions in$\mathsf {Quasi}\text {-}\mathsf {NP} = \mathsf {NTIME}[n^{(\log n)^{O(1)}}]$Quasi-NP=NTIME[n(logn)O(1)]and other complexity classes do not have small circuits (in the worst case and/or on average) from various circuit classes$\mathcal { C}$C, by showing that$\mathcal { C}$Cadmits non-trivial satisfiability and/or#SAT algorithms which beat exhaustive search by a minor amount. In this paper, we present a new strong lower bound consequence of having a non-trivial#SAT algorithm for a circuit class${\mathcal C}$C. Say that a symmetric Boolean functionf(x1,…,xn) issparseif it outputs 1 onO(1) values of${\sum }_{i} x_{i}$ixi. We show that for every sparsef, and for all “typical”$\mathcal { C}$C, faster#SAT algorithms for$\mathcal { C}$Ccircuits imply lower bounds against the circuit class$f \circ \mathcal { C}$fC, which may bestrongerthan$\mathcal { C}$Citself. In particular:

#SAT algorithms fornk-size$\mathcal { C}$C-circuits running in 2n/nktime (for allk) implyNEXPdoes not have$(f \circ \mathcal { C})$(fC)-circuits of polynomial size.

#SAT algorithms for$2^{n^{{\varepsilon }}}$2nε-size$\mathcal { C}$C-circuits running in$2^{n-n^{{\varepsilon }}}$2nnεtime (for someε> 0) implyQuasi-NPdoes not have$(f \circ \mathcal { C})$(fC)-circuits of polynomial size.

Applying#SAT algorithms from the literature, one immediate corollary of our results is thatQuasi-NPdoes not haveEMAJACC0THRcircuits of polynomial size, whereEMAJis the “exact majority” function, improving previous lower bounds againstACC0[Williams JACM’14] andACC0THR[Williams STOC’14], [Murray-Williams STOC’18]. This is the first nontrivial lower bound against such a circuit class.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
Publisher / Repository:
Springer Science + Business Media
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Theory of Computing Systems
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 149-177
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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