## Abstract

One of the major open problems in complexity theory is proving super-logarithmic lower bounds on the depth of circuits (i.e., P 6⊈ NC^{1}). This problem is interesting for two reasons: first, it is tightly related to understanding the power of parallel computation and of small-space computation; second, it is one of the first milestones toward proving super-polynomial circuit lower bounds. Karchmer, Raz, and Wigderson [21] suggested to approach this problem by proving the following conjecture: given two boolean functions f and g, the depth complexity of the composed function g ο f is roughly the sum of the depth complexities of f and g. They showed that the validity of this conjecture would imply that P 6⊈ NC ^{1}. As a starting point for studying the composition of functions, they introduced a relation called "the universal relation", and suggested to study the composition of universal relations. This suggestion proved fruitful, and an analogue of the KRW conjecture for the universal relation was proved by Edmonds et. al. [12]. An alternative proof was given later by Håstad and Wigderson [18]. However, studying the composition of functions seems more difficult, and the KRW conjecture is still wide open. In this work, we make a natural step in this direction, which lies between what is known and the original conjecture: we show that an analogue of the conjecture holds for the composition of a function with a universal relation. We also suggest a candidate for the next step and provide initial results toward it. Our main technical contribution is developing an approach based on the notion of information complexity for analyzing KW relations - communication problems that are closely related to questions on circuit depth and formula complexity. Recently, information complexity has proved to be a powerful tool, and underlined some major progress on several long-standing open problems in communication complexity. In this work, we develop general tools for analyzing the information complexity of KW relations, which may be of independent interest.

Original language | American English |
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Title of host publication | STOC 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing |

Publisher | Association for Computing Machinery |

Pages | 213-222 |

Number of pages | 10 |

ISBN (Print) | 9781450327107 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 2014 |

Externally published | Yes |

Event | 4th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, STOC 2014 - New York, NY, United States Duration: 31 May 2014 → 3 Jun 2014 |

### Publication series

Name | Proceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing |
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ISSN (Print) | 0737-8017 |

### Conference

Conference | 4th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, STOC 2014 |
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Country/Territory | United States |

City | New York, NY |

Period | 31/05/14 → 3/06/14 |

## Keywords

- Formula complexity
- Information complexity