## Abstract

In this work, we show the first worst-case to average-case reduction for the classical k-SUM problem. A k-SUM instance is a collection of m integers, and the goal of the k-SUM problem is to find a subset of k integers that sums to 0. In the average-case version, the m elements are chosen uniformly at random from some interval [−u, u]. We consider the total setting where m is sufficiently large (with respect to u and k), so that we are guaranteed (with high probability) that solutions must exist. In particular, m = u^{Ω(1}/k^{)} suffices for totality. Much of the appeal of k-SUM, in particular connections to problems in computational geometry, extends to the total setting. The best known algorithm in the average-case total setting is due to Wagner (following the approach of Blum-Kalai-Wasserman), and achieves a running time of u^{Θ(1}/log k^{)} when m = u^{Θ(1}/log k). This beats the known (conditional) lower bounds for worst-case k-SUM, raising the natural question of whether it can be improved even further. However, in this work, we show a matching average-case lower bound, by showing a reduction from worst-case lattice problems, thus introducing a new family of techniques into the field of fine-grained complexity. In particular, we show that any algorithm solving average-case k-SUM on m elements in time u^{o}(1/log k^{)} will give a super-polynomial improvement in the complexity of algorithms for lattice problems.

Original language | English |
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Title of host publication | Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques, APPROX/RANDOM 2021 |

Editors | Mary Wootters, Laura Sanita |

Publisher | Schloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing |

Pages | 29:1 - 29:19 |

Number of pages | 19 |

ISBN (Electronic) | 9783959772075 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 1 Sep 2021 |

Event | 24th International Conference on Approximation Algorithms for Combinatorial Optimization Problems, APPROX 2021 and 25th International Conference on Randomization and Computation, RANDOM 2021 - Virtual, Seattle, United States Duration: 16 Aug 2021 → 18 Aug 2021 |

### Publication series

Name | Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs |
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Volume | 207 |

ISSN (Print) | 1868-8969 |

### Conference

Conference | 24th International Conference on Approximation Algorithms for Combinatorial Optimization Problems, APPROX 2021 and 25th International Conference on Randomization and Computation, RANDOM 2021 |
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Country/Territory | United States |

City | Virtual, Seattle |

Period | 16/08/21 → 18/08/21 |

## All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

- Software