Imperfect Gaps in Gap-ETH and PCPs

by   Mitali Bafna, et al.

We study the role of perfect completeness in probabilistically checkable proof systems (PCPs) and give a new way to transform a PCP with imperfect completeness to a PCP with perfect completeness when the initial gap is a constant. In particular, we show that PCP_c,s[r,q] ⊆PCP_1,1-Ω(1)[r+O(1),q+O(r)], for c-s=Ω(1). This implies that one can convert imperfect completeness to perfect in linear-sized PCPs for NTIME[O(n)] with a O(log n) additive loss in the query complexity q. We show our result by constructing a "robust circuit" using threshold gates. These results are a gap amplification procedure for PCPs (when completeness is imperfect), analogous to questions studied in parallel repetition and pseudorandomness. We also investigate the time complexity of approximating perfectly satisfiable instances of 3SAT versus those with imperfect completeness. We show that the Gap-ETH conjecture without perfect completeness is equivalent to Gap-ETH with perfect completeness, i.e. we show that Gap-3SAT, where the gap is not around 1, has a subexponential algorithm, if and only if, Gap-3SAT with perfect completeness has subexponential algorithms. We also relate the time complexities of these two problems in a more fine-grained way, to show that T_2(n) ≤ T_1(n(loglog n)^O(1)), where T_1(n),T_2(n) denote the randomized time-complexity of approximating MAX 3SAT with perfect and imperfect completeness, respectively.


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