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arXiv:2205.06249 [cs.CC]AbstractReferencesReviewsResources

Optimal-Degree Polynomial Approximations for Exponentials and Gaussian Kernel Density Estimation

Amol Aggarwal, Josh Alman

Published 2022-05-12Version 1

For any real numbers $B \ge 1$ and $\delta \in (0, 1)$ and function $f: [0, B] \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$, let $d_{B; \delta} (f) \in \mathbb{Z}_{> 0}$ denote the minimum degree of a polynomial $p(x)$ satisfying $\sup_{x \in [0, B]} \big| p(x) - f(x) \big| < \delta$. In this paper, we provide precise asymptotics for $d_{B; \delta} (e^{-x})$ and $d_{B; \delta} (e^{x})$ in terms of both $B$ and $\delta$, improving both the previously known upper bounds and lower bounds. In particular, we show $$d_{B; \delta} (e^{-x}) = \Theta\left( \max \left\{ \sqrt{B \log(\delta^{-1})}, \frac{\log(\delta^{-1}) }{ \log(B^{-1} \log(\delta^{-1}))} \right\}\right), \text{ and}$$ $$d_{B; \delta} (e^{x}) = \Theta\left( \max \left\{ B, \frac{\log(\delta^{-1}) }{ \log(B^{-1} \log(\delta^{-1}))} \right\}\right).$$ Polynomial approximations for $e^{-x}$ and $e^x$ have applications to the design of algorithms for many problems, and our degree bounds show both the power and limitations of these algorithms. We focus in particular on the Batch Gaussian Kernel Density Estimation problem for $n$ sample points in $\Theta(\log n)$ dimensions with error $\delta = n^{-\Theta(1)}$. We show that the running time one can achieve depends on the square of the diameter of the point set, $B$, with a transition at $B = \Theta(\log n)$ mirroring the corresponding transition in $d_{B; \delta} (e^{-x})$: - When $B=o(\log n)$, we give the first algorithm running in time $n^{1 + o(1)}$. - When $B = \kappa \log n$ for a small constant $\kappa>0$, we give an algorithm running in time $n^{1 + O(\log \log \kappa^{-1} /\log \kappa^{-1})}$. The $\log \log \kappa^{-1} /\log \kappa^{-1}$ term in the exponent comes from analyzing the behavior of the leading constant in our computation of $d_{B; \delta} (e^{-x})$. - When $B = \omega(\log n)$, we show that time $n^{2 - o(1)}$ is necessary assuming SETH.

Comments: 27 pages, to appear in the 37th Computational Complexity Conference (CCC 2022)
Categories: cs.CC, cs.DS, math.CA