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Foundations of Computer Science Seminar

MondayDec 18, 201714:30
Foundations of Computer Science SeminarRoom 155
Speaker:Avishay Tal Title:Improved Pseudorandomness for Unordered Branching Programs through Local MonotonicityAbstract:opens in new windowin html    pdfopens in new window

We present an explicit pseudorandom generator with polylog(n) seed length for read-once constant-width branching programs that can read their $n$ input bits in any order. This improves upon the work of Impagliazzo, Meka, and Zuckerman (FOCS, 2012), where they required seed length $n^{1/2+o(1)}$.

A central ingredient in our work is a bound on the Fourier spectrum of constant-width branching programs, settling a conjecture posed by Reingold, Steinke, and Vadhan (RANDOM, 2013).

Our analysis crucially uses a notion of local monotonicity on the edge labeling of the branching program. We carry critical parts of our proof under the assumption of local monotonicity and show how to deduce our results for unrestricted branching programs.

(Joint work with Eshan Chattopadhyay, Pooya Hatami, and Omer Reingold)


MondayDec 25, 201714:30
Foundations of Computer Science SeminarRoom 155
Speaker:Or Meir Title:Prediction from Partial Information and Hindsight, with Application to Circuit Lower BoundsAbstract:opens in new windowin html    pdfopens in new window

Consider a random sequence of n bits that has entropy at least n-k, where k << n. A commonly used observation is that an average coordinate of this random sequence is close to being uniformly distributed, that is, the coordinate "looks random''. In this work, we prove a stronger result that says, roughly, that the average coordinate looks random to an adversary that is allowed to query about n/k other coordinates of the sequence, even if the adversary is non-deterministic.
As an application of this result, we prove a new result on depth-3 circuits, which recovers as a direct corollary the known lower bounds for the parity and majority functions, as well as a lower bound on sensitive functions due to Boppana.

SundayDec 31, 201714:30
Foundations of Computer Science SeminarRoom 208
Speaker:Shay Solomon Title:Dynamic graph matching and related problemsAbstract:opens in new windowin html    pdfopens in new windowPLEASE NOTE UNUSUAL DAY (SUNDAY) AND PLACE (ROOM 208)

Graph matching is one of the most well-studied problems in combinatorial optimization, with applications ranging from scheduling and object recognition to numerical analysis and computational chemistry.

Nevertheless, until recently very little was unknown about this problem in real-life **dynamic networks**, which aim to model the constantly changing physical world.

In the first part of the talk we'll discuss our work on dynamic graph matching, and in the second part we'll highlight our work on a few related problems.

MondayJan 01, 201814:30
Foundations of Computer Science SeminarRoom 155
Speaker:Yael Tauman Kalai Title:Using the PIR Heuristic to Enhance Secrecy Abstract:opens in new windowin html    pdfopens in new window

The use of a computational PIR scheme has been instrumental in reducing interaction from interactive proofs, and in converting multi-prover interactive proofs to (single prover) 2-message computationally sound proofs (also known as arguments).

In this talk we will focus on the secrecy guarantees of this transformation.
We show that if we start with an interactive proof which is only *honest-verifier* zero-knowledge, and we use a quasi-poly secure *symmetric* PIR scheme (or a 2-message OT scheme) to reduce interaction, then the resulting 2-message argument is witness indistinguishable, and in the delayed-input setting it is distributional weak zero-knowledge (which implies strong witness indistinguishable and witness hiding in the delayed input setting). Moreover, under the same assumption (which can be instantiated from quasi-poly DDH/QR/N'th residuosity assumption), we construct a two-message argument with (similar) *statistical* secrecy guarantees. For the latter, we apply the PIR heuristic on a computationally sound proof, which is honest-verifier statistical zero-knowledge.

This is based on joint works with Abhishek Jain, Dakshita Khurana, Ron Rothblum and Amit Sahai.