Theoretical Computer Science Group

Theory Seminar Schedule for Fall 2014

The weekly Theory seminar provides an opportunity to get exposed to cutting edge research in theoretical computer science, to learn to understand technical material from talks and to give technical presentations. Graduate students interested in doing research in algorithms, complexity theory, cryptography, quantum computing and related areas are strongly encouraged to attend.

Date Speaker Title
Aug 25 Sofya Raskhodnikova L_p testing
Sep PSU holiday, no seminar
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L_P Testing

We initiate a systematic study of sublinear-time algorithms for approximately testing properties of real-valued data, where the quality of approximation is measured with respect to L_p distances. L_p distances generalize the standard Euclidian distance (L_2) and the Hamming distance (L_0). By real-valued data, we mean datasets that are meaningfully represented as real-valued functions. Our algorithms, called L_p-testers, are required to distinguish datasets that have a required property from those that are far in L_p distance from any dataset with the required property. This is a generalization of standard property testers, which are defined with respect to the Hamming distance. Using general L_p distances is more appropriate for many computational tasks on real-valued data.

We use our framework to design simple and fast algorithms for classic problems, such as testing monotonicity, convexity and the Lipschitz property, and also approximating the distance to monotonicity. For some of these problems, our L_p-testers for p>=1 are faster than possible in the standard property testing framework.

In the talk, we will explain and motivate the new framework, give an overview of the results, and explain some of the techniques.