The Linear-Array Conjecture in Communication Complexity Is False

linear array

network consists of k+1 processors with links only between and (0≤i<k). It is required to compute some boolean function f(x,y) in this network, where initially x is stored at and y is stored at . Let be the (total) number of bits that must be exchanged to compute f in worst case. Clearly, , where D(f) is the standard two-party communication complexity of f. Tiwari proved that for almost all functions and conjectured that this is true for all functions.

In this paper we disprove Tiwari's conjecture, by exhibiting an infinite family of functions for which is essentially at most . Our construction also leads to progress on another major problem in this area: It is easy to bound the two-party communication complexity of any function, given the least number of monochromatic rectangles in any partition of the input space. How tight are such bounds? We exhibit certain functions, for which the (two-party) communication complexity is twice as large as the best lower bound obtainable this way.

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Received: March 1, 1996

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Kushilevitz, E., Linial, N. & Ostrovsky, R. The Linear-Array Conjecture in Communication Complexity Is False. Combinatorica 19, 241–254 (1999).

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  • AMS Subject Classification (1991) Classes:  68Q22, 68Q10, 94A05