Nearly optimal solutions for the Chow Parameters Problem and low-weight approximation of halfspaces

Anindya De, Ilias Diakonikolas, Vitaly Feldman, Rocco A. Servedio

Research output: Working paper

Abstract / Description of output

The \emph{Chow parameters} of a Boolean function ƒ: {−1,1}n → {-1,1} are its n+1 degree-0 and degree-1 Fourier coefficients. It has been known since 1961 (Chow, Tannenbaum) that the (exact values of the) Chow parameters of any linear threshold function ƒ uniquely specify ƒ within the space of all Boolean functions, but until recently (O'Donnell and Servedio) nothing was known about efficient algorithms for \emph{reconstructing} ƒ (exactly or approximately) from exact or approximate values of its Chow parameters. We refer to this reconstruction problem as the \emph{Chow Parameters Problem.}
Our main result is a new algorithm for the Chow Parameters Problem which, given (sufficiently accurate approximations to) the Chow parameters of any linear threshold function ƒ, runs in time $\tilde{O}(n^2)\cdot (1/\eps)^{O(\log^2(1/\eps))}$ and with high probability outputs a representation of an LTF ƒ′   that is $\eps$-close to ƒ. The only previous algorithm (O'Donnell and Servedio) had running time $\poly(n) \cdot 2^{2^{\tilde{O}(1/\eps^2)}}.$
As a byproduct of our approach, we show that for any linear threshold function ƒ over {−1,1}n, there is a linear threshold function ƒ′  which is $\eps$-close to ƒ and has all weights that are integers at most $\sqrt{n} \cdot (1/\eps)^{O(\log^2(1/\eps))}$. This significantly improves the best previous result of Diakonikolas and Servedio which gave a $\poly(n) \cdot 2^{\tilde{O}(1/\eps^{2/3})}$ weight bound, and is close to the known lower bound of max{√n, $(1/\eps)^{\Omega(\log \log (1/\eps))}\}$ (Goldberg, Servedio). Our techniques also yield improved algorithms for related problems in learning theory.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherComputing Research Repository (CoRR)
Volumeabs/1206.0985
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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