TY - JOUR
T1 - On Beating the Hybrid Argument
JF - Proceedings, ITCS
Y1 - 2012
A1 - Bill Fefferman
A1 - Ronen Shaltiel
A1 - Christopher Umans
A1 - Emanuele Viola
AB - The hybrid argument allows one to relate the distinguishability of a distribution (from uniform) to the predictability of individual bits given a prefix. The argument incurs a loss of a factor k equal to the bit-length of the distributions: -distinguishability implies only /k-predictability. This paper studies the consequences of avoiding this loss – what we call “beating the hybrid argument” – and develops new proof techniques that circumvent the loss in certain natural settings. Specifically, we obtain the following results: 1. We give an instantiation of the Nisan-Wigderson generator (JCSS ’94) that can be broken by quantum computers, and that is o(1)-unpredictable against AC0 . This is not enough to imply indistinguishability via the hybrid argument because of the hybrid-argument loss; nevertheless, we conjecture that this generator indeed fools AC0 , and we prove this statement for a simplified version of the problem. Our conjecture implies the existence of an oracle relative to which BQP is not in the PH, a longstanding open problem. 2. We show that the “INW” generator by Impagliazzo, Nisan, and Wigderson (STOC ’94) with seed length O(log n log log n) produces a distribution that is 1/ log n-unpredictable against poly-logarithmic width (general) read-once oblivious branching programs. Thus avoiding the hybrid-argument loss would lead to a breakthrough in generators against small space. 3. We study pseudorandom generators obtained from a hard function by repeated sampling. We identify a property of functions, “resamplability,” that allows us to beat the hybrid argument, leading to new pseudorandom generators for AC0 [p] and similar classes. Although the generators have sub-linear stretch, they represent the best-known generators for these classes. Thus we establish that “beating” or bypassing the hybrid argument would have two significant consequences in complexity, and we take steps toward that goal by developing techniques that indeed beat the hybrid argument in related (but simpler) settings, leading to best-known PRGs for certain complexity classes.
VL - 9
U4 - 809-843
UR - http://users.cms.caltech.edu/~umans/papers/FSUV10.pdf
ER -
TY - JOUR
T1 - Pseudorandom generators and the BQP vs. PH problem
Y1 - 2010
A1 - Bill Fefferman
A1 - Christopher Umans
AB - It is a longstanding open problem to devise an oracle relative to which BQP does not lie in the Polynomial-Time Hierarchy (PH). We advance a natural conjecture about the capacity of the Nisan-Wigderson pseudorandom generator [NW94] to fool AC_0, with MAJORITY as its hard function. Our conjecture is essentially that the loss due to the hybrid argument (which is a component of the standard proof from [NW94]) can be avoided in this setting. This is a question that has been asked previously in the pseudorandomness literature [BSW03]. We then make three main contributions: (1) We show that our conjecture implies the existence of an oracle relative to which BQP is not in the PH. This entails giving an explicit construction of unitary matrices, realizable by small quantum circuits, whose row-supports are "nearly-disjoint." (2) We give a simple framework (generalizing the setting of Aaronson [A10]) in which any efficiently quantumly computable unitary gives rise to a distribution that can be distinguished from the uniform distribution by an efficient quantum algorithm. When applied to the unitaries we construct, this framework yields a problem that can be solved quantumly, and which forms the basis for the desired oracle. (3) We prove that Aaronson's "GLN conjecture" [A10] implies our conjecture; our conjecture is thus formally easier to prove. The GLN conjecture was recently proved false for depth greater than 2 [A10a], but it remains open for depth 2. If true, the depth-2 version of either conjecture would imply an oracle relative to which BQP is not in AM, which is itself an outstanding open problem. Taken together, our results have the following interesting interpretation: they give an instantiation of the Nisan-Wigderson generator that can be broken by quantum computers, but not by the relevant modes of classical computation, if our conjecture is true.
UR - http://arxiv.org/abs/1007.0305v3
ER -