Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2019/1430

On the Impossibility of Probabilistic Proofs in Relativized Worlds

Alessandro Chiesa and Siqi Liu

Abstract: We initiate the systematic study of probabilistic proofs in relativized worlds. The goal is to understand, for a given oracle, if there exist "non-trivial" probabilistic proofs for checking deterministic or nondeterministic computations that make queries to the oracle.

This question is intimately related to a recent line of work that builds cryptographic primitives (e.g., hash functions) via constructions that are "friendly" to known probabilistic proofs. This improves the efficiency of probabilistic proofs for computations calling these primitives.

We prove that "non-trivial" probabilistic proofs relative to several natural oracles do not exist. Our results provide strong complexity-theoretic evidence that certain functionalities cannot be treated as black boxes, and thus investing effort to instantiate these functionalities via constructions tailored to known probabilistic proofs may be inherent.

Category / Keywords: foundations / probabilistically checkable proofs; relativization

Original Publication (with major differences): ITCS 2020

Date: received 9 Dec 2019

Contact author: alexch at berkeley edu

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20191210:080927 (All versions of this report)

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