## Short PCPs verifiable in polylogarithmic time

#### Webpage for a paper by Ben-Sasson, Goldreich, Harsha, Sudan and Vadhan

#### Abstract

We show that every language in NP has a probabilistically checkable
proof of proximity (i.e., proofs asserting that an instance is
``close'' to a member of the language), where the verifier's running
time is polylogarithmic in the input size and the length of the
probabilistically checkable proof is only polylogarithmically larger
that the length of the classical proof. (Such a verifier can only
query polylogarithmically many bits of the input instance and the
proof. Thus it needs oracle access to the input as well as the proof,
and cannot guarantee that the input is in the language --- only that
it is close to some string in the language.)

If the verifier is
restricted further in its query complexity and only allowed $q$ queries,
then the proof size blows up by a factor of $2^{(\log n)^{c/q}}$,
where the constant $c$ depends only on the language
(and is independent of $q$).
Our results thus give efficient (in the sense of
running time) versions of the shortest known PCPs,
due to Ben-Sasson et al (STOC'04)
and Ben-Sasson and Sudan (STOC'05), respectively.
The time complexity of the verifier and the size of the proof were the
original emphases in the definition of holographic proofs, due to
Babai et al (STOC'91), and our work is the first to return to these
emphases since their work.

Of technical interest in our proof is a new complete problem for NEXP
based on constraint satisfaction problems with very low complexity
constraints, and techniques to arithmetize such constraints over
fields of small characteristic.

#### Material available on-line

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