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    Partial tests, universal tests and decomposability

    Fischer, E. and Goldhirsh, Y. and Lachish, Oded (2014) Partial tests, universal tests and decomposability. In: UNSPECIFIED (ed.) ITCS '14: Proceedings of the 5th conference on Innovations in theoretical computer science. New York, U.S.: ACM, pp. 483-500. ISBN 9781450326988.

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    For a property P and a sub-property P', we say that P is P'-partially testable with q queries} if there exists an algorithm that distinguishes, with high probability, inputs in P' from inputs ε-far from P, using q queries. Some natural properties require many queries to test, but can be partitioned into a small number of subsets for which they are partially testable with very few queries, sometimes even a number independent of the input size. For properties over {0,1}, the notion of being thus partitionable ties in closely with Merlin-Arthur proofs of Proximity (MAPs) as defined independently in [14] a partition into r partially-testable properties is the same as a Merlin-Arthur system where the proof consists of the identity of one of the r partially-testable properties, giving a 2-way translation to an O(log r) size proof. Our main result is that for some low complexity properties a partition as above cannot exist, and moreover that for each of our properties there does not exist even a single sub-property featuring both a large size and a query-efficient partial test, in particular improving the lower bound set in [14]. For this we use neither the traditional Yao-type arguments nor the more recent communication complexity method, but open up a new approach for proving lower bounds. First, we use entropy analysis, which allows us to apply our arguments directly to 2-sided tests, thus avoiding the cost of the conversion in [14] from 2-sided to 1-sided tests. Broadly speaking we use "distinguishing instances" of a supposed test to show that a uniformly random choice of a member of the sub-property has "low entropy areas", ultimately leading to it having a low total entropy and hence having a small base set. Additionally, to have our arguments apply to adaptive tests, we use a mechanism of "rearranging" the input bits (through a decision tree that adaptively reads the entire input) to expose the low entropy that would otherwise not be apparent. We also explore the possibility of a connection in the other direction, namely whether the existence of a good partition (or MAP) can lead to a relatively query-efficient standard property test. We provide some preliminary results concerning this question, including a simple lower bound on the possible trade-off. Our second major result is a positive trade-off result for the restricted framework of 1-sided proximity oblivious tests. This is achieved through the construction of a "universal tester" that works the same for all properties admitting the restricted test. Our tester is very related to the notion of sample-based testing (for a non-constant number of queries) as defined by Goldreich and Ron in [13]. In particular it partially resolves an open problem raised by [13].


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
    Depositing User: Dr Oded Lachish
    Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2015 15:11
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:37


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