Theoretical Computer Science

How to find a non-zero point of a non-zero polynomial of low degree?

Given a circuit that computes a polynomial $P(x_1 \dots x_n)$ of low formal degree over some large field $\mathbb{F}$. Moreover, given a point $X \in \mathbb{F}^n$, such that $P(X) \neq 0$. Can one deterministically find another point $X' \neq X$, such that $P(X') \neq 0$.

Basically, it is a standard Polynomial identity testing with only one new twist: we know that the solution exists. You can say that it is in some sense problem from $FRP \cap PPP$ (this is very informal statement, I am not sure that this problem is in $PPP$, but it has the same flavor).

I would be glad if someone can point to some positive or negative results about this problem.


If (ceil(degree/n))+1 is "large", then there doesn't actually need to be such an X$\hspace{.02 in}$'.
$\Bigg(\hspace{-0.08 in}$The polynomial can be $\;\;\; \displaystyle\prod_{i\hspace{.02 in}\in \hspace{.02 in}\text{coordinates}} \: \left(\displaystyle\prod_{c\hspace{.02 in}\in (\mathbb{F}\hspace{.03 in}-\{0\})} (x_{\hspace{.02 in}i}-c)\hspace{-0.07 in}\right) \;\;\;$ and X can be the origin.$\hspace{-0.08 in}\Bigg)$

If "large" means larger than 1 plus [the minimum over the variables of the degree in that variable], then there's a uniform NC$^0$ algorithm that will, with no access to the polynomial, with neither
bit operations nor field operations nor equality tests on field elements ($\hspace{.03 in}$just copying them and
moving them around), output a polynomial-length list of elements of $\mathbb{F}^n$ such that at least one
of those elements is such an X'. (When B is an upper bound on the bracketed expression from
the previous sentence, the algorithm will have B+2 distinct hard-coded field elements and output the n$\cdot$(B+2) results of replacing one of X's coordinates with one of the B+2 field elements.)

Thus, you need to either consider fields of "intermediate" size, or allow polynomials of
large (superpolynomial) degree. (Arithmetic circuits can easily have exponential degree.)

A problem that's closer to canonical for FRP PPP (and is actually obviously in PPP) is

Input: A (circuit encoding a) function f : {0,1}n+1 -> {0,1}n
and a (circuit encoding a) function g : {0,1}n -> {0,1}n+1

Correct Outputs: elements x of {0,1}n+1 such that g(f(x)) x


Comments (1)

  • +2 – It seems as there's some problem with the formatting but I'm not sure what you were aiming for. Can you make an edit to make your answer easier to read? — Jan 12, 2016 at 12:49