Polynomial-Time Amoeba Neighborhood Membership and Faster Localized Solving

Eleanor Anthony, Sheridan Grant, Peter Gritzmann, J. Maurice Rojas

We derive efficient algorithms for coarse approximation of algebraic hypersurfaces, useful for estimating the distance between an input polynomial zero set and a given query point. Our methods work best on sparse polynomials of high degree (in any number of variables) but are nevertheless completely general. The underlying ideas, which we take the time to describe in an elementary way, come from tropical geometry. We thus reduce a hard algebraic problem to high-precision linear optimization, proving new upper and lower complexity estimates along the way.

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