21.09.14 - 26.09.14, Seminar 14391

Algebra in Computational Complexity

Diese Seminarbeschreibung wurde vor dem Seminar auf unseren Webseiten veröffentlicht und bei der Einladung zum Seminar verwendet.


At its core, much of Computational Complexity is concerned with combinatorial objects and structures. But it has often proven true that the best way to prove things about these combinatorial objects is by establishing a connection (perhaps approximate) to a more well-behaved algebraic setting. Indeed, many of the deepest and most powerful results in Computational Complexity rely on algebraic proof techniques. The Razborov-Smolensky polynomial-approximation method for proving constant-depth circuit lower bounds, the PCP characterization of NP, and the Agrawal-Kayal-Saxena polynomial-time primality test are some of the most prominent examples.

The algebraic theme continues in some of the most exciting recent progress in computational complexity. There have been significant recent advances in algebraic circuit lower bounds. The so-called chasm at depth 4, quite recently improved to a chasm at depth 3, suggests that the restricted models now being considered are not so far from ones that would lead to a general result.

There have been similar successes concerning the related problems of polynomial identity testing and circuit reconstruction in the algebraic model (and these are tied to central questions regarding the power of randomness in computation). Representation theory has emerged as an important tool in three separate lines of work: the Geometric Complexity Theory approach to P vs. NP and circuit lower bounds, the effort to resolve the complexity of matrix multiplication, and a framework for constructing locally testable codes. Coding theory (which has found many applications within computational complexity) has seen several algebraic innovations in recent years, including multiplicity codes, matching vector codes, and new lower bounds.

The seminar aims to capitalize on recent progress and bring together researchers who are using a diverse array of algebraic methods in a variety of settings. Researchers in these areas are relying on ever more sophisticated and specialized mathematics and this seminar can play an important role in educating a diverse community about the latest new techniques, spurring further progress.