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Complexity Dichotomies for Counting Problems
  • Volume 1: Boolean Domain
  • Jin-Yi Cai, University of Wisconsin, Madison , Xi Chen, Columbia University, New York

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    Complexity Dichotomies for Counting Problems
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Book description

Complexity theory aims to understand and classify computational problems, especially decision problems, according to their inherent complexity. This book uses new techniques to expand the theory for use with counting problems. The authors present dichotomy classifications for broad classes of counting problems in the realm of P and NP. Classifications are proved for partition functions of spin systems, graph homomorphisms, constraint satisfaction problems, and Holant problems. The book assumes minimal prior knowledge of computational complexity theory, developing proof techniques as needed and gradually increasing the generality and abstraction of the theory. This volume presents the theory on the Boolean domain, and includes a thorough presentation of holographic algorithms, culminating in classifications of computational problems studied in exactly solvable models from statistical mechanics.


‘This remarkable volume presents persuasive evidence that computer applications obey beautiful unities: within the significant classes considered, the problems that are not known to be polynomial time computable are all reducible to each other by a small number of elegant techniques. The treatment is original, comprehensive and thought provoking.'

Leslie Valiant - Harvard University, Massachusetts

‘This book provides a thorough study of the complexity of counting. These basic problems arise in statistical physics, optimization, algebraic combinatorics and computational complexity. The past fifteen years of research have led to a (surprisingly clean) complete characterization of their complexity in the form of a ‘dichotomy theorem', whose proof is the main goal of this volume. Along the way, the authors provide detailed explanations of basic methods for studying such problems, including holographic algorithms and reductions. The book is very well written and organized, and should be useful to researchers and graduate students in the fields above.'

Avi Wigderson - Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey

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