- Bogdanov A
- Viola E

Proceedings - Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, FOCS (2007) 41-51

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We present a new approach to constructing pseudorandom generators that fool low-degree polynomials over finite fields, based on the Gowers norm. Using this approach, we obtain the following main constructions of explicitly computable generators G : FsrarrFn that fool polynomials over a prime field F: (1) a generator that fools degree-2 (i.e., quadratic) polynomials to within error 1/n, with seed length s = O(log n); (2) a generator that fools degree-3 (i.e., cubic) polynomials to within error epsiv, with seed length s = O(Iog|F| n) + f(epsiv, F) where f depends only on epsiv and F (not on n), (3) assuming the "Gowers inverse conjecture," for every d a generator that fools degree-d polynomials to within error epsiv, with seed length, s = O(dldrIog|F| n) + f(d, epsiv, F) where f depends only on d, epsiv, and F (not on n). We stress that the results in (1) and (2) are unconditional, i.e. do not rely on any unproven assumption. Moreover, the results in (3) rely on a special case of the conjecture which may be easier to prove. Our generator for degree-d polynomials is the component-wise sum of d generators for degree-l polynomials (on independent seeds). Prior to our work, generators with logarithmic seed length were only known for degree-1 (i.e., linear) polynomials (Naor and Naor; SIAM J. Comput., 1993). In fact, over small fields such as F2 = {0,1}, our results constitute the first progress on these problems since the long-standing generator by Luby, Velickovic and Wigderson (ISTCS1993), whose seed length is much bigger: s = exp (Omega(radiclogn)), even for the case of degree-2 polynomials over F2.

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