Institute for Advanced Study; Member, School of Mathematics
April 15, 2014
The IP theorem, which asserts that IP = PSPACE (Lund et. al., and Shamir, in J. ACM 39(4)), is one of the major achievements of complexity theory. The known proofs of the theorem are based on the arithmetization technique, which transforms a quantified Boolean formula into a related polynomial. The intuition that underlies the use of polynomials is commonly explained by the fact that polynomials constitute good error correcting codes. However, the known proofs seem tailored to the use of polynomials, and do not generalize to arbitrary error correcting codes. In this work, we show that the IP theorem can be proved by using general error correcting codes. We believe that this establishes a rigorous basis for the aforementioned intuition, and sheds further light on the IP theorem.