Adaptivity is exponentially powerful for testing monotonicity of halfspaces

Xi Chen, Rocco A. Servedio, Li-Yang Tan, Erik Waingarten

We give a $\mathrm{poly}(\log n, 1/\epsilon)$-query adaptive algorithm for testing whether an unknown Boolean function $f: \{-1,1\}^n \to \{-1,1\}$, which is promised to be a halfspace, is monotone versus $\epsilon$-far from monotone. Since non-adaptive algorithms are known to require almost $\Omega(n^{1/2})$ queries to test whether an unknown halfspace is monotone versus far from monotone, this shows that adaptivity enables an exponential improvement in the query complexity of monotonicity testing for halfspaces.

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