# 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?
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### 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 $1 \leq m \leq n$, ...
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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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### 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 ...
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### (0,1)-vector XOR problem

this is a rewrite of another recent question of mine  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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### 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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### 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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### 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 ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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
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### 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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### 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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### 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 ...
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### 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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### 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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### Status on circuit lower bounds for polylog-bounded depth circuits

Bounded depth circuit complexity is one of the main areas of research within circuit complexity theory. This topic has origins in results like "the parity function is not in $AC^{0}$" and "the mod $p$ ...
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### Do the proofs that permanent is not in uniform $\mathsf{TC^0}$ relativize?

This is a follow up to this question, and is related to this question of Shiva Kinali. It seems that the proofs in these papers (Allender, Caussinus-McKenzie-Therien-Vollmer, Koiran-Perifel) use ...
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### 2DFA that requires many states in equivalent DFA?

Is there a 2DFA with $n$ states (where $n$ is nontrivial, say at least 4) that requires at least $2^n$ states to simulate using any DFA? A two-way DFA (2DFA) is a deterministic finite-state automaton ...
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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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### Lower bounds on single-source shortest paths in directed graphs

Are there any non-trivial lower bounds on the complexity of single-source shortest paths (SSSP) in a directed graph, where all edges have non-negative edge weights? Can we rule out the possibility of ...
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### Lower bound for testing closeness in $L_2$ norm?

I was wondering if there was any lower bound (in terms of sample complexity) known for the following problem: Given sample oracle access to two unknown distributions $D_1$, $D_2$ on $\{1,\dots,n\}$, ...
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### Lower bound for NFA accepting 3 letter language

Related to a recent question (Bounds on the size of the smallest NFA for L_k-distinct) Noam Nisan asked for a method to give a better lower bound for the size of an NFA than what we get from ...
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### Can addition be carried out in less than depth 5?

Using carry look ahead algorithm we can compute addition using a polynomial size depth 5 (or 4?) $AC^0$ circuit family. Is it possible to reduce the depth? Can we compute the addition of two binary ...
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### One-way randomized complexity of (variants of) Gap-Hamming-Distance?

The $\textsf{GapHammingDistance}$ problem over $\{0,1\}^n$ is defined as follows: Alice (resp. Bob) is given an input $x\in\{0,1\}^n$ (resp, $y\in\{0,1\}^n$), under the promise that their Hamming ...
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### P/poly vs NP separation based on circuit trees instead of DAGs

there are various theorems that relate major complexity class separations to circuit family DAGs sizes, in particular for P/poly vs NP. in contrast, are there theorems/conjectures that relate P/...
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### What is the strongest known lower bound against SIZE(n)?

What is the best known lower bound against (nonuniform) circuits of size $O(n)$? I understand that we don't know of any explicit functions that need circuits of size more than something like $5n$. But ...
### Problem in deterministic time $n^p$ and not lower
I'm looking for any language $L$ candiate to be in $DTIME(n^p) -DTIME(n^{p-1})$ (it takes at least $n^{p-1}$ steps to determine if an input is in L with a 2-tape $TM$, but L is polynomially solvable). ...