Quantum and Randomised Algorithms for Non-linearity Estimation

Debajyoti Bera, Tharrmashastha Sapv

Non-linearity of a Boolean function indicates how far it is from any linear function. Despite there being several strong results about identifying a linear function and distinguishing one from a sufficiently non-linear function, we found a surprising lack of work on computing the non-linearity of a function. The non-linearity is related to the Walsh coefficient with the largest absolute value; however, the naive attempt of picking the maximum after constructing a Walsh spectrum requires $\Theta(2^n)$ queries to an $n$-bit function. We improve the scenario by designing highly efficient quantum and randomised algorithms to approximate the non-linearity allowing additive error, denoted $\lambda$, with query complexities that depend polynomially on $\lambda$. We prove lower bounds to show that these are not very far from the optimal ones. The number of queries made by our randomised algorithm is linear in $n$, already an exponential improvement, and the number of queries made by our quantum algorithm is surprisingly independent of $n$. Our randomised algorithm uses a Goldreich-Levin style of navigating all Walsh coefficients and our quantum algorithm uses a clever combination of Deutsch-Jozsa, amplitude amplification and amplitude estimation to improve upon the existing quantum versions of the Goldreich-Levin technique.

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