### Optimal Coding Theorems in Time-Bounded Kolmogorov Complexity [article]

Zhenjian Lu, Igor C. Oliveira, Marius Zimand
2022 arXiv   pre-print
The classical coding theorem in Kolmogorov complexity states that if an n-bit string x is sampled with probability δ by an algorithm with prefix-free domain then K(x) ≤log(1/δ) + O(1). In a recent work, Lu and Oliveira [LO21] established an unconditional time-bounded version of this result, by showing that if x can be efficiently sampled with probability δ then rKt(x) = O(log(1/δ)) + O(log n), where rKt denotes the randomized analogue of Levin's Kt complexity. Unfortunately, this result is
more » ... insufficient when transferring applications of the classical coding theorem to the time-bounded setting, as it achieves a O(log(1/δ)) bound instead of the information-theoretic optimal log(1/δ). We show a coding theorem for rKt with a factor of 2. As in previous work, our coding theorem is efficient in the sense that it provides a polynomial-time probabilistic algorithm that, when given x, the code of the sampler, and δ, it outputs, with probability ≥ 0.99, a probabilistic representation of x that certifies this rKt complexity bound. Assuming the security of cryptographic pseudorandom generators, we show that no efficient coding theorem can achieve a bound of the form rKt(x) ≤ (2 - o(1)) ·log(1/δ) + poly(log n). Under a weaker assumption, we exhibit a gap between efficient coding theorems and existential coding theorems with near-optimal parameters. We consider pK^t complexity [GKLO22], a variant of rKt where the randomness is public and the time bound is fixed. We observe the existence of an optimal coding theorem for pK^t, and employ this result to establish an unconditional version of a theorem of Antunes and Fortnow [AF09] which characterizes the worst-case running times of languages that are in average polynomial-time over all P-samplable distributions.