2(log N)1/10-o(1) Hardness for Hypergraph Coloring

Sangxia Huang

We show that it is quasi-NP-hard to color 2-colorable 8-uniform hypergraphs with colors, where is the number of vertices. There has been much focus on hardness of hypergraph coloring recently. Guruswami, Håstad, Harsha, Srinivasan and Varma showed that it is quasi-NP-hard to color 2-colorable 8-uniform hypergraphs with colors. Their result is obtained by composing standard Label Cover with an inner-verifier based on Low Degree Long Code, using Reed-Muller code testing results by Dinur and Guruswami. Using a different approach, Khot and Saket constructed a new variant of Label Cover, and composed it with Quadratic Code to show quasi-NP-hardness of coloring 2-colorable 12-uniform hypergraphs with colors, for some around 1/20. Their construction of Label Cover is based on a new notion of superposition complexity for CSP instances. The composition with inner-verifier was subsequently improved by Varma, giving the same hardness result for 8-uniform hypergraphs.

Our construction uses both Quadratic Code and Low Degree Long Code, and builds upon the work by Khot and Saket. We present a different approach to construct CSP instances with superposition hardness by observing that when the number of assignments is odd, satisfying a constraint in superposition is the same as "odd-covering" the constraint. We employ Low Degree Long Code in order to keep the construction efficient. In the analysis, we also adapt and generalize one of the key theorems by Dinur and Guruswami in the context of analyzing probabilistically checkable proof systems.