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Free, publiclyaccessible full text available June 2, 2024

In the certification problem, the algorithm is given a function f with certificate complexity k and an input x^⋆, and the goal is to find a certificate of size ≤ poly(k) for f’s value at x^⋆. This problem is in NP^NP, and assuming 𝖯 ≠ NP, is not in 𝖯. Prior works, dating back to Valiant in 1984, have therefore sought to design efficient algorithms by imposing assumptions on f such as monotonicity. Our first result is a BPP^NP algorithm for the general problem. The key ingredient is a new notion of the balanced influence of variables, a natural variant of influence that corrects for the bias of the function. Balanced influences can be accurately estimated via uniform generation, and classic BPP^NP algorithms are known for the latter task. We then consider certification with stricter instancewise guarantees: for each x^⋆, find a certificate whose size scales with that of the smallest certificate for x^⋆. In sharp contrast with our first result, we show that this problem is NP^NPhard even to approximate. We obtain an optimal inapproximability ratio, adding to a small handful of problems in the higher levels of the polynomial hierarchy for which optimal inapproximability is known. Our proof involves the novel use of bitfixing dispersers for gap amplification.more » « less

We show how any PAC learning algorithm that works under the uniform distribution can be transformed, in a blackbox fashion, into one that works under an arbitrary and unknown distribution D. The efficiency of our transformation scales with the inherent complexity of D, running in (n, (md)d) time for distributions over n whose pmfs are computed by depthd decision trees, where m is the sample complexity of the original algorithm. For monotone distributions our transformation uses only samples from D, and for general ones it uses subcube conditioning samples. A key technical ingredient is an algorithm which, given the aforementioned access to D, produces an optimal decision tree decomposition of D: an approximation of D as a mixture of uniform distributions over disjoint subcubes. With this decomposition in hand, we run the uniformdistribution learner on each subcube and combine the hypotheses using the decision tree. This algorithmic decomposition lemma also yields new algorithms for learning decision tree distributions with runtimes that exponentially improve on the prior state of the art—results of independent interest in distribution learning.more » « less

Interval scheduling is a basic problem in the theory of algorithms and a classical task in combinatorial optimization. We develop a set of techniques for partitioning and grouping jobs based on their starting and ending times, that enable us to view an instance of interval scheduling on many jobs as a union of multiple interval scheduling instances, each containing only a few jobs. Instantiating these techniques in dynamic and local settings of computation leads to several new results. For (1+ε)approximation of job scheduling of n jobs on a single machine, we develop a fully dynamic algorithm with O((log n)/ε) update and O(log n) query worstcase time. Further, we design a local computation algorithm that uses only O((log N)/ε) queries when all jobs are length at least 1 and have starting/ending times within [0,N]. Our techniques are also applicable in a setting where jobs have rewards/weights. For this case we design a fully dynamic deterministic algorithm whose worstcase update and query time are poly(log n,1/ε). Equivalently, this is the first algorithm that maintains a (1+ε)approximation of the maximum independent set of a collection of weighted intervals in poly(log n,1/ε) time updates/queries. This is an exponential improvement in 1/ε over the running time of a randomized algorithm of Henzinger, Neumann, and Wiese [SoCG, 2020], while also removing all dependence on the values of the jobs' starting/ending times and rewards, as well as removing the need for any randomness. We also extend our approaches for interval scheduling on a single machine to examine the setting with M machines.more » « less

We give an nO(log log n)time membership query algorithm for properly and agnostically learning decision trees under the uniform distribution over { ± 1}n. Even in the realizable setting, the previous fastest runtime was nO(log n), a consequence of a classic algorithm of Ehrenfeucht and Haussler. Our algorithm shares similarities with practical heuristics for learning decision trees, which we augment with additional ideas to circumvent known lower bounds against these heuristics. To analyze our algorithm, we prove a new structural result for decision trees that strengthens a theorem of O’Donnell, Saks, Schramm, and Servedio. While the OSSS theorem says that every decision tree has an influential variable, we show how every decision tree can be “pruned” so that every variable in the resulting tree is influential.more » « less

We consider online algorithms for the page migration problem that use predictions, potentially imperfect, to improve their performance. The best known online algorithms for this problem, due to Westbrook’94 and Bienkowski et al’17, have competitive ratios strictly bounded away from 1. In contrast, we show that if the algorithm is given a prediction of the input sequence, then it can achieve a competitive ratio that tends to 1 as the prediction error rate tends to 0. Specifically, the competitive ratio is equal to 1+O(q), where q is the prediction error rate. We also design a “fallback option” that ensures that the competitive ratio of the algorithm for any input sequence is at most O(1/q). Our result adds to the recent body of work that uses machine learning to improve the performance of “classic” algorithms.more » « less

Recent work shows that the expressive power of Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) in distinguishing nonisomorphic graphs is exactly the same as that of the WeisfeilerLehman (WL) graph test. In particular, they show that the WL test can be simulated by GNNs. However, those simulations involve neural networks for the “combine” function of size polynomial or even exponential in the number of graph nodes n, as well as feature vectors of length linear in n. We present an improved simulation of the WL test on GNNs with exponentially lower complexity. In particular, the neural network implementing the combine function in each node has only polylog(n) parameters, and the feature vectors exchanged by the nodes of GNN consists of only O(log n) bits. We also give logarithmic lower bounds for the feature vector length and the size of the neural networks, showing the (near)optimality of our construction.more » « less

We initiate the study of a fundamental question concerning adversarial noise models in statistical problems where the algorithm receives i.i.d. draws from a distribution D. The definitions of these adversaries specify the {\sl type} of allowable corruptions (noise model) as well as {\sl when} these corruptions can be made (adaptivity); the latter differentiates between oblivious adversaries that can only corrupt the distribution D and adaptive adversaries that can have their corruptions depend on the specific sample S that is drawn from D. We investigate whether oblivious adversaries are effectively equivalent to adaptive adversaries, across all noise models studied in the literature, under a unifying framework that we introduce. Specifically, can the behavior of an algorithm A in the presence of oblivious adversaries always be wellapproximated by that of an algorithm A′ in the presence of adaptive adversaries? Our first result shows that this is indeed the case for the broad class of {\sl statistical query} algorithms, under all reasonable noise models. We then show that in the specific case of {\sl additive noise}, this equivalence holds for {\sl all} algorithms. Finally, we map out an approach towards proving this statement in its fullest generality, for all algorithms and under all reasonable noise models.more » « less

For a graph G on n vertices, naively sampling the position of a random walk of at time t requires work Ω(t). We desire local access algorithms supporting positionG(t) queries, which return the position of a random walk from some fixed start vertex s at time t, where the joint distribution of returned positions is 1/ poly(n) close to those of a uniformly random walk in ℓ1 distance. We first give an algorithm for local access to random walks on a given undirected dregular graph with eO( 1 1−λ √ n) runtime per query, where λ is the secondlargest eigenvalue of the random walk matrix of the graph in absolute value. Since random dregular graphs G(n, d) are expanders with high probability, this gives an eO(√ n) algorithm for a graph drawn from G(n, d) whp, which improves on the naive method for small numbers of queries. We then prove that no algorithm with subconstant error given probe access to an input dregular graph can have runtime better than Ω(√ n/ log(n)) per query in expectation when the input graph is drawn from G(n, d), obtaining a nearly matching lower bound. We further show an Ω(n1/4) runtime per query lower bound even with an oblivious adversary (i.e. when the query sequence is fixed in advance). We then show that for families of graphs with additional group theoretic structure, dramatically better results can be achieved. We give local access to walks on smalldegree abelian Cayley graphs, including cycles and hypercubes, with runtime polylog(n) per query. This also allows for efficient local access to walks on polylog degree expanders. We show that our techniques apply to graphs with high degree by extending or results to graphs constructed using the tensor product (giving fast local access to walks on degree nϵ graphs for any ϵ ∈ (0, 1]) and Cartesian product.more » « less