Rectangles are nonnegative juntas


We develop a new method to prove communication lower bounds for composed functions of the form fogn, where f is any boolean function on n inputs and g is a sufficiently "hard" two-party gadget. Our main structure theorem states that each rectangle in the communication matrix of fogn can be simulated by a nonnegative combination of juntas. This is a new formalization for the intuition that each low-communication randomized protocol can only "query" a few inputs of f as encoded by the gadget g. Consequently, we characterize the communication complexity of fogn in all known one-sided (i.e., not closed under complement) zero-communication models by a corresponding query complexity measure of f. These models in turn capture important lower bound techniques such as corruption, smooth rectangle bound, relaxed partition bound, and extended discrepancy. As applications, we resolve several open problems from prior work. We show that SBPcc (a class characterized by corruption) is not closed under intersection. An immediate corollary is that MAcc ≠= SBPcc. These results answer questions of Klauck [Proceedings of the 18th Conference on Computational Complexity (CCC), IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, 2003, pp. 118-134] and Böhler, Glasser, and Meister [J. Comput. System Sci., 72 (2006), pp. 1043-1076]. We also show that the approximate nonnegative rank of partial boolean matrices does not admit efficient error reduction. This answers a question of Kol et al. [Proceedings of the 41st International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP), Springer, Berlin, 2014, pp. 701-712] for partial matrices. In subsequent work, our structure theorem has been applied to resolve the communication complexity of the clique versus independent set problem.

Publication Title

SIAM Journal on Computing