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DIMACS Theory of Computing Seminar

"A Nearly Optimal Lower Bound on the Approximate Degree of AC^0"

Date & time: Wednesday, 05 April 2017 at 11:00AM -


Mark Bun, Princeton University

"A Nearly Optimal Lower Bound on the Approximate Degree of AC^0"

Time: 11:00 AM
Location: CoRE 301
Abstract: The approximate degree of a Boolean function f is the least degree of a real polynomial that approximates f pointwise to error at most 1/3. For any constant delta > 0, we exhibit an AC^0 function of approximate degree Omega(n^{1-delta}). This improves over the best previous lower bound of Omega(n^{2/3}) due to Aaronson and Shi, and nearly matches the trivial upper bound of n that holds for any function.

We accomplish this by giving a generic method for increasing the approximate degree of a given function, while preserving its computability by constant-depth circuits. We will also describe several applications to communication complexity and cryptography.

This is joint work with Justin Thaler and is available at


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