Competing provers yield improved Karp-Lipton collapse results

Jin Yi Cai, Venkatesan T. Chakaravarthy, Lane A. Hemaspaandra, Mitsunori Ogihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Via competing provers, we show that if a language A is self-reducible and has polynomial-size circuits then S2A=S2. Building on this, we strengthen the Kämper-AFK theorem, namely, we prove that if NP ⊆ (NP ∩ coNP)/poly then the polynomial hierarchy collapses to S2NP∩coNP. We also strengthen Yap's theorem, namely, we prove that if NP ⊆ coNP/poly then the polynomial hierarchy collapses to S2NP. Under the same assumptions, the best previously known collapses were to ZPPNP and ZPPNPNP, respectively ([SIAM Journal on Computing 28 (1) (1998) 311; Journal of Computer and System Sciences 52 (3) (1996) 421], building on [Proceedings of the 12th ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, ACM Press, New York, 1980, pp. 302-309; Journal of Computer and System Sciences 39 (1989) 21; Theoretical Computer Science 85 (2) (1991) 305; Theoretical Computer Science 26 (3) (1983) 287]). It is known that S2 ⊆ ZPPNP [Proceedings of the 42nd IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, IEEE Computer Society Press, Silver Spring, MD, 2001, pp. 620-629]. That result and its relativized version show that our new collapses indeed improve the previously known results. The Kämper-AFK theorem and Yap's theorem are used in the literature as bridges in a variety of results-ranging from the study of unique solutions to issues of approximation-and so our results implicitly strengthen those results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalInformation and Computation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 10 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Competing provers
  • Karp-Lipton theorem
  • Kämper-AFK theorem
  • Lowness
  • Nonuniform complexity
  • Structural complexity
  • Symmetric alternation
  • Yap's theorem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

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