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(Source: HP Research Labs) Longstanding math problem is solved (August 2010)
(Source: HP Research Labs) Longstanding math problem is solved (August 2010)

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05/07/2015

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We have seen in Chapter 4 that the propagation of inﬂuence of variables during

a LFP computation is stagewise-local. This is really the fundamental limitation

of LFP that we seek to exploit. In order to understand why this is a limitation,

we need to examine what local neighborhoods of the factor graphs underly-

ing NP-complete problems like k-SAT look like in hard phases such as d1RSB.

In such phases, there are many extensive (meaning O(n)) correlations between

variables that arise due to loops of sizes O(logn) and above.

However, remarkably, such graphs are locally trivial. By that we mean that

there are no cycles in a O(1) sized neighborhood of any vertex as the size of the

graph goes to inﬁnity [MM09, §9.5]. One may demonstrate this for the Erdos-

Renyi random graph as follows. Here, there are n vertices, and there is an edge

between any two with probability c/n where c is a constant that parametrizes

the density of the graph. Edges are “drawn” uniformly and independently of

each other. Consider the probability of a certain graph (V,E) occurring as a

subgraph of the Erdos-Renyi graph. Such a graph can occur in n
|V|

positions.

At each position, the probability of the graph structure occurring is

p|E|(1p)

|V|

2 −|E|.

Applying Stirling’s approximations, we see that such a graph occurs asymptot-

ically O(|V|−|E|) times. If the graph is connected, |V| ≤ |E|−1 with equality

61

6. RANDOM GRAPH ENSEMBLES

62

only for trees. Thus, in the limit of n → ∞, ﬁnite connected graphs have van-

ishing probability of occurring in ﬁnite neighborhoods of any element.

Inshort,ifonlylocalneighborhoodsareexamined,thetwoensemblesGk(n,m)

andTk(n,m) are indistinguishable from each other.

Theorem 6.3. Let G be a randomly chosen graph in the ensemble Gk(n,m), and i

be a uniformly chosen node in G. Then the r-neighborhood of i in G converges in

distribution toTk(n,m) as n → ∞.

Let us see what this means in terms of the information such graphs divulge

locally. The simplest local property is degrees of elements. These are, of course,

available through local inspection. The next would be small connected sub-

graphs (triangles, for instance). But even this next step is not available. In

other words, such random graphs do not provide any of their global proper-

ties through local inspection at each element.

Let us think about what this implies. We know from the onset of cores and

frozen variables in the 1dRSB phase of k-SAT that there are strong correlations

between blocks of variables of size O(n) in that phase. However, these loops

are invisible when we inspect local neighborhoods of a ﬁxed ﬁnite size, as the

problem size grows.

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