Proceedings 17th IEEE Annual Conference on Computational Complexity (2002)

Montreal, Canada

May 21, 2002 to May 24, 2002

ISBN: 0-7695-1468-5

pp: 0025

Subhash Khot , Princeton University

ABSTRACT

A 2-prover game is called unique if the answer of one prover uniquely determines the answer of the second prover and vice versa (we implicitly assume games to be one round games). The value of a 2-prover game is the maximum acceptance probability of the verifier over all the prover strategies. We make the following conjecture regarding the power of unique 2-prover games, which we call the Unique Games Conjecture: The Unique Games Conjecture: For arbitrarily small constants \zeta, \delta > 0, there exists a constant k = k(\zeta,\delta) such that it is NP-hard to determine whether a unique 2-prover game with answers from a domain of size k has value at least 1-\zeta or at most \delta.We show that a positive resolution of this conjecture would imply the following hardness results: (1) For any 1/2 < t < 1, for all sufficiently small constants \epsilon > 0, it is NP-hard to distinguish between the instances of the problem 2-Linear-Equations mod 2 where either there exists an assignment that satisfies 1-\epsilon fraction of equations or no assignment can satisfy more than 1-\epsilon^t fraction of equations. As a corollary of this result, it is NP-hard to approximate the Min-2CNF-deletion problem within any constant factor. (2) For the constraint satisfaction problem where every constraint is the predicate Not-all-equal(a,b,c) with a,b,c being ternary variables, it is NP-hard to distinguish between the instances where either there exists an assignment that satisfies 1-\epsilon fraction of the constraints or no assignment satisfies more than 8/9 + \epsilon fraction of the constraints for an arbitrarily small constant \epsilon > 0. This problem is relavant for showing hardness of coloring 3-colorable 3-uniform hypergraphs. We also show that a variation of the Unique Games Conjecture implies that for arbitrarily small constant \delta > 0, it is hard to find an independent set of size (\delta n) in a graph that is guaranteed to have an independent set of size \Omega(n).The main idea in all the above results is to use the 2-prover game given by the Unique Games Conjecture as an "outer verifier" and build new probabilistically checkable proof systems (PCPs) on top of it. The uniqueness property plays a crucial role in the analysis of these PCPs.In light of such interesting consequences, we think it is an important open problem to prove (or disprove) the Unique Games Conjecture. We also present a semi-definite programming based algorithm for finding reasonable prover strategies for a unique 2-prover game. Given a unique 2-prover game with value 1-\zeta and answers from a domain of size k, this algorithm finds prover strategies that make the verifier accept with probability 1-O(k^2 \zeta^{1/5} \sqrt{\log(1/\zeta)}). This result shows that the domain size k = k(\zeta, \delta) must be sufficiently large if the Unique Games Conjecture is true.

INDEX TERMS

Hardness of approximation, 2-prover games, probabilistically checkable proofs

CITATION

S. Khot, "On the Power of Unique 2-Prover 1-Round Games,"

*Proceedings 17th IEEE Annual Conference on Computational Complexity(CCC)*, Montreal, Canada, 2002, pp. 0025.

doi:10.1109/CCC.2002.1004334

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