# Questions tagged [lower-bounds]

questions about lowerbounds on functions, usually the complexity of an algorithm or a problem

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### What are the best current lower bounds on 3SAT?

What are the best current lower bounds for time and circuit depth for 3SAT?
• 13.6k
42 votes
2 answers
2k views

### Are the problems PRIMES, FACTORING known to be P-hard?

Let PRIMES (a.k.a. primality testing) be the problem: Given a natural number $n$, is $n$ a prime number? Let FACTORING be the problem: Given natural numbers $n$, $m$ with $1 \leq m \leq n$, ...
• 421
65 votes
5 answers
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### Problems that can be used to show polynomial-time hardness results

When designing an algorithm for a new problem, if I can't find a polynomial time algorithm after a while, I might try to prove it is NP-hard instead. If I succeed, I've explained why I couldn't find ...
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29 votes
7 answers
3k views

### Proving lower bounds by proving upper bounds

The recent breakthrough circuit complexity lower-bound result of Ryan Williams provides a proof technique that uses upper-bound result to prove complexity lower-bounds. Suresh Venkat in his answer to ...
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

### (0,1)-vector XOR problem

this is a rewrite of another recent question of mine [1] that wasnt stated well (it had a semi obvious simplification, mea culpa) but I think theres still a nontrivial question at the heart of it. ...
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22 votes
2 answers
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### How does the Mulmuley-Sohoni geometric approach to producing lower bounds avoid producing natural proofs (in the Razborov-Rudich sense)?

The exact phrasing of the title is due to Anand Kulkarni (who proposed this site be created). This question was asked as an example question, but I’m insanely curious. I know very little about ...
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18 votes
2 answers
830 views

### Bounds on the size of the smallest NFA for L_k-distinct

Consider the language $L_{k-distinct}$ consisting of all $k$-letter strings over $\Sigma$ such that no two letters are equal:  L_{k-distinct} :=\{w = \sigma_1\sigma_2...\sigma_k \mid \forall i\in[k]...
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26 votes
4 answers
2k views

### Separating Logspace from Polynomial time

It is clear that any problem that is decidable in deterministic logspace ($L$) runs in at most polynomial time ($P$). There is a wealth of complexity classes between $L$ and $P$. Examples include $NL$,...
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18 votes
2 answers
3k views

### Hierarchy theorem for circuit size

I think that a size hierarchy theorem for circuit complexity can be a major breakthrough in the area. Is it an interesting approach to class separation? The motivation for the question is that we ...
• 445
16 votes
1 answer
477 views

### Lower bounds on the size of CFGs for specific finite languages

Consider the following natural question: Given a finite language $L$, what is the smallest context-free grammar generating $L$? We can make the question more interesting by specifying a sequence of ...
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123 votes
18 answers
9k views

### Examples of the price of abstraction?

Theoretical computer science has provided some examples of "the price of abstraction." The two most prominent are for Gaussian elimination and sorting. Namely: It is known that Gaussian ...
50 votes
0 answers
2k views

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25 votes
2 answers
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### Formula size lower bounds for AC0 functions

Question: What is the best known formula size lower bound for an explicit function in AC0? Is there an explicit function with an $\Omega(n^2)$ lower bound? Background: Like most lower bounds, ...
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22 votes
2 answers
2k views

### Lower bound for determinant and permanent

In light of the recent chasm at depth-3 result (which among other things yields a $2^{\sqrt{n}\log{n}}$ depth-3 arithmetic circuit for the $n \times n$ determinant over $\mathbb{C}$), I have the ...
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20 votes
4 answers
1k views

### Parity and $AC^0$

Parity and $AC^0$ are like inseparable twins. Or so it has seemed for the last 30 years. In the light of Ryan's result, there will be renewed interest in the small classes. Furst Saxe Sipser to Yao ...
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18 votes
2 answers
1k views

### Lower bounds on #SAT?

The problem #SAT is the canonical #P-complete problem. It's a function problem rather than a decision problem. It asks, given a boolean formula $F$ in propositional logic, how many satisfying ...
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14 votes
3 answers
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### Lower Bounds for Data Structures

Are results known which rule out the existence of "too-good-to-be-true" data structures? For example: can one add $Split$ and $Join$ functionality to an order maintenance data structure (see Dietz ...
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13 votes
2 answers
2k views

### Reversing a list using two queues

This question is inspired by an existing question about whether a stack can be simulated using two queues in amortized $O(1)$ time per stack operation. The answer seems to be unknown. Here is a more ...
• 1,458
8 votes
1 answer
485 views

### Are there more polynomial time problems with complexity lower bounds?

I'm looking for more problems in $P$ with classical time complexity lower bounds. Some people might wonder how you could prove such a lower bound. See below. Exponential Lower Bounds: Claim: If ...
• 5,127
7 votes
4 answers
1k views

### What are the best known upper bounds and lower bounds for computing O(log n)-Clique?

Input: a graph with n nodes, Output: A clique of size $O(\log n)$, Providing links to references would be great
7 votes
2 answers
685 views

### Communication lower bounds for partial boolean functions

There are well known techniques for proving lower bounds on the communication complexity of boolean functions, like fooling sets, the rank of the communication matrix, and discepancy. 1) How do we ...
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40 votes
3 answers
2k views

### Circuit lower bounds over arbitrary sets of gates

In the 1980s, Razborov famously showed that there are explicit monotone Boolean functions (such as the CLIQUE function) that require exponentially many AND and OR gates to compute. However, the basis ...
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22 votes
6 answers
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### References on Circuit Lower Bounds

Preamble Interactive proof systems and Arthur-Merlin protocols were introduced by Goldwasser, Micali and Rackoff and Babai back in 1985. At first, it was thought that the former is more powerful than ...
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22 votes
2 answers
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### Protocol partition number and deterministic communication complexity

Besides (deterministic) communication complexity $cc(R)$ of a relation $R$, another basic measure for the amount of communication needed is the protocol partition number $pp(R)$. The relation between ...
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21 votes
2 answers
914 views

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5 votes
0 answers
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