AND and/or OR: Uniform Polynomial-Size Circuits

Niall Murphy
(Universidad Politécnica de Madrid)
Damien Woods
(California Institute of Technology)

We investigate the complexity of uniform OR circuits and AND circuits of polynomial-size and depth. As their name suggests, OR circuits have OR gates as their computation gates, as well as the usual input, output and constant (0/1) gates. As is the norm for Boolean circuits, our circuits have multiple sink gates, which implies that an OR circuit computes an OR function on some subset of its input variables. Determining that subset amounts to solving a number of reachability questions on a polynomial-size directed graph (which input gates are connected to the output gate?), taken from a very sparse set of graphs. However, it is not obvious whether or not this (restricted) reachability problem can be solved, by say, uniform AC^0 circuits (constant depth, polynomial-size, AND, OR, NOT gates). This is one reason why characterizing the power of these simple-looking circuits in terms of uniform classes turns out to be intriguing. Another is that the model itself seems particularly natural and worthy of study.

Our goal is the systematic characterization of uniform polynomial-size OR circuits, and AND circuits, in terms of known uniform machine-based complexity classes. In particular, we consider the languages reducible to such uniform families of OR circuits, and AND circuits, under a variety of reduction types. We give upper and lower bounds on the computational power of these language classes. We find that these complexity classes are closely related to tallyNL, the set of unary languages within NL, and to sets reducible to tallyNL. Specifically, for a variety of types of reductions (many-one, conjunctive truth table, disjunctive truth table, truth table, Turing) we give characterizations of languages reducible to OR circuit classes in terms of languages reducible to tallyNL classes. Then, some of these OR classes are shown to coincide, and some are proven to be distinct. We give analogous results for AND circuits. Finally, for many of our OR circuit classes, and analogous AND circuit classes, we prove whether or not the two classes coincide, although we leave one such inclusion open.

In Turlough Neary and Matthew Cook: Proceedings Machines, Computations and Universality 2013 (MCU 2013), Zürich, Switzerland, 9/09/2013 - 11/09/2013, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 128, pp. 150–166.
Published: 4th September 2013.

ArXived at: bibtex PDF
References in reconstructed bibtex, XML and HTML format (approximated).
Comments and questions to:
For website issues: