We present a new distributed model of probabilistically checkable proofs (PCP). A satisfying assignment $x \in \{0,1\}^n$ to a CNF formula $\varphi$ is shared between two parties, where Alice knows $x_1, \dots, x_{n/2}$, Bob knows $x_{n/2+1},\dots,x_n$, and both parties know $\varphi$. The goal is to have Alice and Bob jointly write a PCP that $x$ satisfies $\varphi$, while exchanging little or no information. Unfortunately, this model as-is does not allow for nontrivial query complexity. Instead, we focus on a non-deterministic variant, where the players are helped by Merlin, a third party who knows all of $x$. Using our framework, we obtain, for the first time, PCP-like reductions from the Strong Exponential Time Hypothesis (SETH) to approximation problems in P. In particular, under SETH we show that there are no truly-subquadratic approximation algorithms for Bichromatic Maximum Inner Product over {0,1}-vectors, Bichromatic LCS Closest Pair over permutations, Approximate Regular Expression Matching, and Diameter in Product Metric. All our inapproximability factors are nearly-tight. In particular, for the first two problems we obtain nearly-polynomial factors of $2^{(\log n)^{1-o(1)}}$; only $(1+o(1))$-factor lower bounds (under SETH) were known before.

Thanks. We have received your report. If we find this content to be in
violation of our guidelines,
we will remove it.

Ok