One powerful theme in complexity theory and pseudorandomness in the past few decades has been the use of lower bounds to give pseudorandom generators (PRGs). However, the general results using this hardness vs. randomness paradigm suffer from a quantitative loss in parameters, and hence do not give nontrivial implications for models where we don't know superpolynomial lower bounds but do know lower bounds of a fixed polynomial. We show that when such lower bounds are proved using random restrictions, we can construct PRGs that are essentially best possible without in turn improving the lower bounds.
More specifically, say that a circuit family has shrinkage exponent Gamma if a random restriction leaving a p fraction of variables unset shrinks the size of any circuit in the family by a factor of p^{Gamma + o(1)}. Our PRG uses a seed of length s^{1/(Gamma + 1) + o(1)} to fool circuits in the family of size s. By using this generic construction, we get PRGs with polynomially small error for the following classes of circuits of size s and with the following seed lengths:
1. For de Morgan formulas, seed length s^{1/3+o(1)};
2. For formulas over an arbitrary basis, seed length s^{1/2+o(1)};
3. For readonce de Morgan formulas, seed length s^{.234...};
4. For branching programs of size s, seed length s^{1/2+o(1)}.
The previous best PRGs known for these classes used seeds of length bigger than n/2 to output n bits, and worked only when the size s=O(n).
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Fooling ConstantDepth Threshold Circuits (Extended Abstract)
We present new constructions of pseudorandom generators (PRGs) for two of the most widely studied nonuniform circuit classes in complexity theory. Our main result is a construction of the first nontrivial PRG for linear threshold (LTF) circuits of arbitrary constant depth and superlinear size. This PRG fools circuits with depth d∈N and n1+δ wires, where δ=2−O(d) , using seed length O(n1−δ) and with error 2−nδ . This tightly matches the best known lower bounds for this circuit class. As a consequence of our result, all the known hardness for LTF circuits has now effectively been translated into pseudorandomness. This brings the extensive effort in the last decade to construct PRGs and deterministic circuitanalysis algorithms for this class to the point where any subsequent improvement would yield breakthrough lower bounds. Our second contribution is a PRG for De Morgan formulas of size s whose seed length is s1/3+o(1)⋅polylog(1/ϵ) for error ϵ . In particular, our PRG can fool formulas of subcubic size s=n3−Ω(1) with an exponentially small error ϵ=exp(−nΩ(1)) . This significantly improves the inversepolynomial error of the previous stateoftheart for such formulas by Impagliazzo, Meka, and Zuckerman (FOCS 2012, JACM 2019), and again tightly matches the best currentlyknown lower bounds for this class. In both settings, a key ingredient in our constructions is a pseudorandom restriction procedure that has tiny failure probability, but simplifies the function to a nonnatural “hybrid computational model” that combines several computational models.
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 Award ID(s):
 1947546
 NSFPAR ID:
 10384268
 Date Published:
 Journal Name:
 Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science
 Page Range / eLocation ID:
 104 to 115
 Format(s):
 Medium: X
 Sponsoring Org:
 National Science Foundation
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One powerful theme in complexity theory and pseudorandomness in the past few decades has been the use of lower bounds to give pseudorandom generators (PRGs). However, the general results using this hardness vs. randomness paradigm suffer from a quantitative loss in parameters, and hence do not give nontrivial implications for models where we don’t know superpolynomial lower bounds but do know lower bounds of a fixed polynomial. We show that when such lower bounds are proved using random restrictions, we can construct PRGs which are essentially best possible without in turn improving the lower bounds. More specifically, say that a circuit family has shrinkage exponent Γ if a random restriction leaving a p fraction of variables unset shrinks the size of any circuit in the family by a factor of p Γ + o (1) . Our PRG uses a seed of length s 1/(Γ + 1) + o (1) to fool circuits in the family of size s . By using this generic construction, we get PRGs with polynomially small error for the following classes of circuits of size s and with the following seed lengths: (1) For de Morgan formulas, seed length s 1/3+ o (1) ; (2) For formulas over an arbitrary basis, seed length s 1/2+ o (1) ; (3) For readonce de Morgan formulas, seed length s .234... ; (4) For branching programs of size s , seed length s 1/2+ o (1) . The previous best PRGs known for these classes used seeds of length bigger than n /2 to output n bits, and worked only for size s = O ( n ) [8].more » « less

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