Degree Lower Bounds of Tower-Type for Approximating Formulas with Parity Quantifiers

  • Albert Atserias
  • Anuj Dawar
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7392)


Kolaitis and Kopparty have shown that for any first-order formula with parity quantifiers over the language of graphs there is a family of multi-variate polynomials of constant degree that agree with the formula on all but a 2− Ω(n)-fraction of the graphs with n vertices. The proof bounds the degree of the polynomials by a tower of exponentials in the nesting depth of parity quantifiers in the formula. We show that this tower-type dependence is necessary. We build a family of formulas of depth q whose approximating polynomials must have degree bounded from below by a tower of exponentials of height proportional to q. Our proof has two main parts. First, we adapt and extend known results describing the joint distribution of the parity of the number of copies of small subgraphs on a random graph to the setting of graphs of growing size. Secondly, we analyse a variant of Karp’s graph canonical labeling algorithm and exploit its massive parallelism to get a formula of low depth that defines an almost canonical pre-order on a random graph.


Random Graph Atomic Type Label Vertex Boolean Combination Splitting Procedure 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert Atserias
    • 1
  • Anuj Dawar
    • 2
  1. 1.Universitat Politècnica de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.University of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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