Despite the interest in the complexity class MA, the randomized analog of NP, just a few natural MA-complete problems are known. The first problem was found by (Bravyi and Terhal, SIAM Journal of Computing 2009); it was then followed by (Crosson, Bacon and Brown, PRE 2010) and (Bravyi, Quantum Information and Computation 2015). Surprisingly, two of these problems are defined using terminology from quantum computation, while the third is inspired by quantum computation and keeps a physical terminology. This prevents classical complexity theorists from studying these problems, delaying potential progress, e.g., on the NP vs. MA question. Here, we define two new combinatorial problems and prove their MA-completeness. The first problem, ACAC, gets as input a succinctly described graph, with some marked vertices. The problem is to decide whether there is a connected component with only unmarked vertices, or the graph is far from having this property. The second problem, SetCSP, generalizes standard constraint satisfaction problem (CSP) into constraints involving sets of strings. Technically, our proof that SetCSP is MA-complete is based on an observation by (Aharonov and Grilo, FOCS 2019), in which it was noted that a restricted case of Bravyi and Terhal’s problem (namely, the uniform case) is already MA-complete; a simple trick allows to state this restricted case using combinatorial language. The fact that the first, more natural, problem of ACAC is MA-hard follows quite naturally from this proof, while the containment of ACAC in MA is based on the theory of random walks. We notice that the main result of Aharonov and Grilo carries over to the SetCSP problem in a straightforward way, implying that finding a gap-amplification procedure for SetCSP (as in Dinur’s PCP proof) is equivalent to MA=NP. This provides an alternative new path towards the major problem of derandomizing MA.

Publication

Two combinatorial MA-complete problems

Despite the interest in the complexity class MA, the randomized analog of NP, just a few natural MA-complete problems are known. The first problem was found by (Bravyi and Terhal, SIAM Journal of Computing 2009); it was then followed by (Crosson, Bacon and Brown, PRE 2010) and (Bravyi, Quantum Information and Computation 2015). Surprisingly, two of these problems are defined using terminology from quantum computation, while the third is inspired by quantum computation and keeps a physical terminology. This prevents classical complexity theorists from studying these problems, delaying potential progress, e.g., on the NP vs. MA question. Here, we define two new combinatorial problems and prove their MA-completeness. The first problem, ACAC, gets as input a succinctly described graph, with some marked vertices. The problem is to decide whether there is a connected component with only unmarked vertices, or the graph is far from having this property. The second problem, SetCSP, generalizes standard constraint satisfaction problem (CSP) into constraints involving sets of strings. Technically, our proof that SetCSP is MA-complete is based on an observation by (Aharonov and Grilo, FOCS 2019), in which it was noted that a restricted case of Bravyi and Terhal’s problem (namely, the uniform case) is already MA-complete; a simple trick allows to state this restricted case using combinatorial language. The fact that the first, more natural, problem of ACAC is MA-hard follows quite naturally from this proof, while the containment of ACAC in MA is based on the theory of random walks. We notice that the main result of Aharonov and Grilo carries over to the SetCSP problem in a straightforward way, implying that finding a gap-amplification procedure for SetCSP (as in Dinur’s PCP proof) is equivalent to MA=NP. This provides an alternative new path towards the major problem of derandomizing MA.