Pseudorandom Generators for $CCO[p]$ and the Fourier Spectrum of Low-Degree Polynomials Over Finite Fields

Pseudorandom Generators for CCO[p]CCO[p] and the Fourier Spectrum... - Shachar Lovett

Shachar Lovett
Institute for Advanced Study
October 5, 2010

We give a pseudorandom generator, with seed length $O(log n)$, for $CC0[p]$, the class of constant-depth circuits with unbounded fan-in $MODp$ gates, for prime $p$. More accurately, the seed length of our generator is $O(log n)$ for any constant error $epsilon>0$. In fact, we obtain our generator by fooling distributions generated by low degree polynomials, over $Fp$, when evaluated on the Boolean cube. This result significantly extends previous constructions that either required a long seed $[LVW93]$ or that could only fool the distribution generated by linear functions over $Fp$, when evaluated on the Boolean cube $[LRTV09, MZ09]$.

Enroute of constructing our PRG, we prove two structural results for low degree polynomials over finite fields that can be of independent
interest:

  1. Let $f$ be an n-variate degree $d$ polynomial over $Fp$. Then, for every $epsilon>0$ there exists a subset $S$ of variables of size depending only on $d$ and $epsilon$, such that the total weight of the Fourier coefficients that do not involve any variable from $S$ is at most $epsilon$.
  2. Let $f$ be an n-variate degree d polynomial over $Fp$. If the distribution of $f$ when applied to uniform zero-one bits is epsilon-far (in statistical distance) from its distribution when applied to biased bits, then for every $delta>0$, f can be approximated over zero-one bits, up to error delta, by a function of a small number (depending only on $epsilon$, $delta$ and $d$) of lower degree polynomials.

Joint work with Partha Mukhopadhyay and Amir Shpilka.