LIPIcs - Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics. 44th International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science (MFCS 2019)

Doi

Abstract

In a Nisan-Wigderson design polynomial (in short, a design polynomial), every pair of monomials share a few common variables. A useful example of such a polynomial, introduced in [Neeraj Kayal et al., 2014], is the following: NW_{d,k}({x}) = sum_{h in F_d[z], deg(h) <= k}{ prod_{i=0}^{d-1}{x_{i, h(i)}}}, where d is a prime, F_d is the finite field with d elements, and k << d. The degree of the gcd of every pair of monomials in NW_{d,k} is at most k. For concreteness, we fix k = ceil[sqrt{d}]. The family of polynomials NW := {NW_{d,k} : d is a prime} and close variants of it have been used as hard explicit polynomial families in several recent arithmetic circuit lower bound proofs. But, unlike the permanent, very little is known about the various structural and algorithmic/complexity aspects of NW beyond the fact that NW in VNP. Is NW_{d,k} characterized by its symmetries? Is it circuit-testable, i.e., given a circuit C can we check efficiently if C computes NW_{d,k}? What is the complexity of equivalence test for NW, i.e., given black-box access to a f in F[{x}], can we check efficiently if there exists an invertible linear transformation A such that f = NW_{d,k}(A * {x})? Characterization of polynomials by their symmetries plays a central role in the geometric complexity theory program. Here, we answer the first two questions and partially answer the third.
We show that NW_{d,k} is characterized by its group of symmetries over C, but not over R. We also show that NW_{d,k} is characterized by circuit identities which implies that NW_{d,k} is circuit-testable in randomized polynomial time. As another application of this characterization, we obtain the "flip theorem" for NW.
We give an efficient equivalence test for NW in the case where the transformation A is a block-diagonal permutation-scaling matrix. The design of this algorithm is facilitated by an almost complete understanding of the group of symmetries of NW_{d,k}: We show that if A is in the group of symmetries of NW_{d,k} then A = D * P, where D and P are diagonal and permutation matrices respectively. This is proved by completely characterizing the Lie algebra of NW_{d,k}, and using an interplay between the Hessian of NW_{d,k} and the evaluation dimension