## Abstract

Block sensitivity ($bs(f)$), certificate complexity ($C(f)$) and fractional certificate complexity ($C^$(f)$) are three fundamental combinatorial measures of complexity of a boolean function $f$. It has long been known that $bs(f) \leq C^{\ast}(f) \leq C(f) =O(bs(f)2)$. We provide an infinite family of examples for which $C(f)$ grows quadratic ally in $C^{\ast}(f)$ (and also $bs(f)$) giving optimal separations between these measures. Previously the biggest separation known was $C(f)=C^{\ast}(f)^{\log-{4.5}5}$. We also give a family of examples for which $C^{\ast}(f)=\Omega(bs(f)^{3/2})$. These examples are obtained by composing boolean functions in various ways. Here the composition $f \circ g$ of $f$ with $g$ is obtained by substituting for each variable of $f$ a copy of $g$ on disjoint sets of variables. To construct and analyse these examples we systematically investigate the behaviour under function composition of these measures and also the sensitivity measure $s(f)$. The measures $s(f)$, $C(f)$ and $C^{\ast}(f)$ behave nicely under composition: they are sub multiplicative (where measure $m$ is sub multiplicative if $m(f \circ g) \leq m(f)m(g)$) with equality holding under some fairly general conditions. The measure $bs(f)$ is qualitatively different: it is not sub multiplicative. This qualitative difference was not noticed in the previous literature and we correct some errors that appeared in previous papers. We define the composition limit of a measure $m$ at function $f$, $m^{\lim}(f)$ to be the limit as $k$ grows of $m(f^{(k)})^{1/k}$, where $f^{(k)}$ is the iterated composition of $f$ with itself $k$-times. For any function $f$ we show that $bs^{\lim}(f) = (C^$)^{\lim}(f)$ and characterize $s^{\lim}(f), (C^$)^{\lim}(f)$, and $C^{\lim}(f) $ in terms of the largest eigenvalue of a certain set of $2\times 2$ matrices associated with $f$.

Original language | English (US) |
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Title of host publication | Proceedings - 2013 IEEE Conference on Computational Complexity, CCC 2013 |

Pages | 185-196 |

Number of pages | 12 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 2013 |

Event | 2013 IEEE Conference on Computational Complexity, CCC 2013 - Palo Alto, CA, United States Duration: Jun 5 2013 → Jun 7 2013 |

### Publication series

Name | Proceedings of the Annual IEEE Conference on Computational Complexity |
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ISSN (Print) | 1093-0159 |

### Other

Other | 2013 IEEE Conference on Computational Complexity, CCC 2013 |
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Country/Territory | United States |

City | Palo Alto, CA |

Period | 6/5/13 → 6/7/13 |

## All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

- Software
- Theoretical Computer Science
- Computational Mathematics

## Keywords

- Block sensitivity
- Certificate complexity
- Fractional Certificate complexity
- Iterated composition