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Discrete harmonic analysis for computer science

Objective

Boolean function analysis is a topic of research at the heart of theoretical computer science. It studies functions on n input bits (for example, functions computed by Boolean circuits) from a spectral perspective, by treating them as real-valued functions on the group Z_2^n, and using techniques from Fourier and functional analysis. Boolean function analysis has been applied to a wide variety of areas within theoretical computer science, including hardness of approximation, learning theory, coding theory, and quantum complexity theory.

Despite its immense usefulness, Boolean function analysis has limited scope, since it is only appropriate for studying functions on {0,1}^n (a domain known as the Boolean hypercube). Discrete harmonic analysis is the study of functions on domains possessing richer algebraic structure such as the symmetric group (the group of all permutations), using techniques from representation theory and Sperner theory. The considerable success of Boolean function analysis suggests that discrete harmonic analysis could likewise play a central role in theoretical computer science.

The goal of this proposal is to systematically develop discrete harmonic analysis on a broad variety of domains, with an eye toward applications in several areas of theoretical computer science. We will generalize classical results of Boolean function analysis beyond the Boolean hypercube, to domains such as finite groups, association schemes (a generalization of finite groups), the quantum analog of the Boolean hypercube, and high-dimensional expanders (high-dimensional analogs of expander graphs). Potential applications include a quantum PCP theorem and two outstanding open questions in hardness of approximation: the Unique Games Conjecture and the Sliding Scale Conjecture. Beyond these concrete applications, we expect that the fundamental results we prove will have many other applications that are hard to predict in advance.

Host institution

TECHNION - ISRAEL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Net EU contribution
€ 1 473 750,00
Address
Senate Building Technion City
32000 Haifa
Israel

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)

TECHNION - ISRAEL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Israel
Net EU contribution
€ 1 473 750,00
Address
Senate Building Technion City
32000 Haifa

See on map

Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00