Abstracts for Maurice's Mathematical Papers

(You can click HERE to see a list with downloadable files and further bibliographic information, but without abstracts.)

69. ``Polynomial-time Amoeba Neighborhood Membership and Faster Localized Solving,'' (by Eleanor Anthony, Sheridan Grant, Peter Gritzmann, and J. Maurice Rojas)

We derive efficient algorithms for coarse approximation of algebraic hypersurfaces, useful for estimating the distance between an input polynomial zero set and a given query point. Our methods work best on sparse polynomials of high degree (in any number of variables) but are nevertheless completely general. The underlying ideas, which we take the time to describe in an elementary way, come from tropical geometry. We then apply our methods to find roots of n×n systems near a given query point, thereby reducing a hard algebraic problem to high-precision linear optimization. We prove new upper and lower complexity estimates along the way.

68. ``Counting Tropically Degenerate Valuations and p-adic Approaches to the Hardness of the Permanent,'' (by Pascal Koiran, Natacha Portier, and J. Maurice Rojas)

The Shub-Smale τ-Conjecture is a hitherto unproven statement (on integer roots of polynomials) whose truth implies both a variant of pp!neq!np (for the BSS model over C) and the hardness of the permanent. We give alternative conjectures, some clearly easier to prove, whose truth still implies the hardness of the permanent. Along the way, we discuss new upper bounds on the number of p-adic valuations of roots of certain sparse polynomial systems, culminating in a connection between quantitative p-adic geometry and complexity theory.

67. ``Metric Estimates and Membership Complexity for Archimedean Amoebae and Tropical Hypersurfaces,'' (by Martín Aveñdano, Roman Kogan, Mounir Nisse, and J. Maurice Rojas)

Given any complex Laurent polynomial f, Amoeba(f) is the image of its complex zero set under the coordinate-wise log absolute value map. We give an efficiently constructible polyhedral approximation, ArchTrop(f), of Amoeba(f), and derive explicit upper and lower bounds, solely as a function of the sparsity of f, for the Hausdorff distance between these two sets. We thus obtain an Archimedean analogue of Kapranov's Non-Archimedean Amoeba Theorem and a higher-dimensional extension of earlier estimates of Mikhalkin and Ostrowski. We then show that deciding whether a given point lies in ArchTrop(f) is doable in polynomial-time, for any fixed dimension, unlike the corresponding question for Amoeba(f), which is NP-hard already in one variable.

66. ``Sub-Linear Root Detection, and New Hardness Results, for Sparse Polynomials Over Finite Fields,'' (by Jingguo Bi, Qi Cheng, and J. Maurice Rojas)

We present a deterministic 2O(t)q(t-2)/(t-1)+o(1) algorithm to decide whether a univariate polynomial f, with exactly t monomial terms and degree <q, has a root in Fq. Our method is the first with complexity sub-linear in q when t is fixed. We also prove a structural property for the nonzero roots in Fq of any t-nomial: the nonzero roots always admit a partition into no more than 2(t-1)1/2(q-1)(t-2)/(t-1) cosets of two subgroups S1⊆ S2 of Fq*. This can be thought of as a finite field analogue of Descartes' Rule. A corollary of our results is the first deterministic sub-linear algorithm for detecting common degree one factors of k-tuples of t-nomials in Fq[x] when k and t are fixed. When t is not fixed we show that, for p prime, detecting roots in Fp for f is NP-hard with respect to BPP-reductions. Finally, we prove that if the complexity of root detection is sub-linear (in a refined sense), relative to the straight-line program encoding, then NEXPP/Poly.
Winner of the 2013 ISSAC Distinguished Paper Award.

65. Book Review: Beck's Inevitable Randomness in Discrete Mathematics (by J. Maurice Rojas)

An invited book review for the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society.

64. Fewnomial Systems with Many Roots, and an Adelic Tau Conjecture (by Kaitlyn Hellenbrand and J. Maurice Rojas)

Consider a system F of n polynomials in n variables, with a total of n+k distinct exponent vectors, over any local field L. We discuss conjecturally tight upper and lower bounds on the maximal number of non-degenerate roots F can have over L, with all coordinates having fixed sign or fixed first digit, as a function of n and k only. For non-Archimedean L, we give the first non-trivial lower bounds for the case k-1≤ n; and for general L we give new explicit extremal systems when k=2 and n≥1. We also briefly review the background behind such bounds, and their application, including connections to the Shub-Smale τ-Conjecture and the P vs. NP Problem. One of our key tools is the construction of combinatorially constrained tropical varieties with maximally many intersections.

63. Faster p-adic Feasibility for Certain Multivariate Sparse Polynoimals, (by Martín Aveñdano, Ashraf Ibrahim, J. Maurice Rojas, and Korben Rusek)

We present algorithms revealing new families of polynomials allowing sub-exponential detection of p-adic rational roots, relative to the sparse encoding. For instance, we show that the case of honest n-variate (n+1)-nomials is doable in NP and, for certain special cases with p exceeding the Newton polytope volume, in constant time. Furthermore, using the theory of linear forms in p-adic logarithms, we prove that the case of trinomials in one variable can be done in NP. The best previous complexity bounds for these problems were EXPTIME or worse. Finally, we prove that detecting p-adic rational roots for sparse polynomials in one variable is NP-hard with respect to randomized reductions. The last proof makes use of an efficient construction of primes in certain arithmetic progressions. The smallest n where detecting p-adic rational roots for n-variate sparse polynomials is NP-hard appears to have been unknown.

62. New Multiplier Sequences via Discriminant Amoebae, (by Mikael Passare, J. Maurice Rojas, and Boris Shapiro)

In their classic 1914 paper, Polya and Schur introduced and characterized two types of linear operators acting diagonally on the monomial basis of R[x], sending real-rooted polynomials (resp. polynomials with all nonzero roots of the same sign) to real-rooted polynomials. Motivated by fundamental properties of amoebae and discriminants discovered by Gelfand, Kapranov, and Zelevinsky, we introduce two new natural classes of polynomials and describe diagonal operators preserving these new classes. A pleasant circumstance in our description is that these classes have a simple explicit description, one of them coinciding with the class of log-concave sequences.

61. Optimizing n-variate (n+k)-nomials for small k, (by Philippe Pebay, J. Maurice Rojas, and David C. Thompson)

We show that maximizing n-variate (n+2)-nomials (with real exponents and coefficients) can be done in time polynomial in the sparse encoding, relative to the BSS model over R. The best previous complexity bounds were exponential in the sparse encoding, even for n fixed. Along the way, we extend the theory of A-discriminants to real exponents and exponential sums, and find new and natural NPR-complete problems. We also discuss high precision polynomial-time approximation schemes, extending the classical notion of an FPTAS to the real numbers.

60. Optimization and NP_R-Completeness of Certain Fewnomials , (by Philippe Pebay, J. Maurice Rojas, and David C. Thompson)

We show that maximizing n-variate (n+2)-nomials (with real exponents and coefficients) can be done in time polynomial in the sparse encoding, relative to the BSS model over R. The best previous complexity bounds were exponential in the sparse encoding, even for n fixed. Along the way, we extend the theory of A-discriminants to real exponents and exponential sums, and find new and natural NPR-complete problems.

59. Sums of Squares, Randomization, and Sparse Polynomials, (by Osbert Bastani, Chris Hillar, Dimitar Popov, and J. Maurice Rojas)

Suppose f is a real univariate polynomial of degree D with maximum coefficient bit size h and exactly m monomial terms. Relative to the sparse input size m+h+log(D), polynomial-time algorithms for counting the positive roots of such polynomials are known only for m≥3. We study the case m=4, focussing on two potential techniques: sums of squares and A-discriminants. In particular, we find explicit obstructions to expressing positive definite sparse polynomials as sums of squares of few sparse polynomials. We also give an algorithm --- based on A-discriminant theory --- for counting positive roots of most tetranomials in polynomial-time (relative to the sparse input size).

58. Refined Asymptotics for Multigraded Sums of Squares, (by J. Maurice Rojas and Swaminathan Sethuraman)

To prove that a polynomial is nonnegative on R^n one can try to show that it is a sum of squares of polynomials (SOS). The latter problem is now known to be reducible to a semidefinite programming (SDP) computation much faster than classical algebraic methods (see, e.g., [Par03]), thus enabling new speed-ups in algebraic optimization. However, exactly how often nonnegative polynomials are in fact sums of squares of polynomials remains an open problem. Blekherman was recently able to show [Ble03] that for degree k polynomials in n variables --- with k≥4 fixed --- those that are SOS occupy a vanishingly small fraction of those that are nonnegative on R^n, as n tends to infinity. With an eye toward the case of small n, we refine Blekherman's bounds by incorporating the underlying Newton polytope, simultaneously sharpening some of his older bounds along the way. Our refined asymptotics show that certain Newton polytopes may lead to families of polynomials where efficient SDP can still be used for most inputs.

57. Faster Real Feasibility via Circuit Discriminants, (by Frederic Bihan, J. Maurice Rojas, and Casey E. Stella)

We show that detecting real roots for honestly n-variate (n+2)-nomials (with integer exponents and coefficients) can be done in time polynomial in the sparse encoding for any fixed n. The best previous complexity bounds were exponential in the sparse encoding, even for n fixed. We then give a characterization of those functions k(n) such that the complexity of detecting real roots for n-variate (n+k(n))-nomials transitions from P to NP-hardness as n tends to infinity. Our proofs follow in large part from a new complexity threshold for deciding the vanishing of A-discriminants of n-variate (n+k(n))-nomials. Diophantine approximation, through linear forms in logarithms, also arises as a key tool.

56. Refined Asymptotics for Sparse Sums of Squares, (by J. Maurice Rojas and Swaminathan Sethuraman)

(This is an extended abstract for Refined Asymptotics for Multigraded Sums of Squares. The extended abstract was accepted for presentation at MEGA 2009.)

55. Near NP-Completeness for Detecting p-adic Rational Roots: One Variable, (by Ashraf Ibrahim, J. Maurice Rojas, and Korben Rusek)

We show that deciding whether a univariate polynomial has a p-adic rational root can be done in NP for most inputs. We also prove a polynomial-time upper bound for trinomials with suitably generic p-adic Newton polygon. We thus improve the best previous complexity upper bound of EXPTIME. We also prove an unconditional complexity lower bound of NP-hardness with respect to randomized reductions for general univariate polynomials. The best previous lower bound assumed an unproved hypothesis on the distribution of primes in arithmetic progression. We also discuss how our results complement analogous results over the real numbers.

In a sequel to this paper, we extend our complexity results to systems of multivariate polynomials.

54. Book Review: Basu, Pollack, and Roy's Algorithms in Real Algebraic Geometry, (by J. Maurice Rojas)

An invited book review for the journal Foundations of Computational Mathematics, published by Springer-Verlag.

53. New Complexity Bounds for Certain Real Fewnomial Zero Sets, (by Joel Gomez, Andrew Niles, and J. Maurice Rojas)

Consider real bivariate polynomials f and g, respectively having 3 and m monomial terms. We prove that for all m≥3, there are systems of the form (f,g) having exactly 2m-1 roots in the positive quadrant. Even examples with m=4 having 7 positive roots were unknown before this paper, so we detail an explicit example of this form. We also present an O(n^{11}) upper bound for the number of diffeotopy types of the real zero set of an n-variate polynomial with n+4 monomial terms.

52. On the Sharpness of Fewnomial Bounds and the Number of Components of Fewnomial Hypersurfaces (by Frederic Bihan, J. Maurice Rojas, and Frank Sottile)

We prove the existence of systems of n polynomial equations in n variables with a total of n+k+1 distinct monomial terms possessing floor(1+n/k)^k nondegenerate positive solutions. This shows that the recent upper bound of (e^2+3)/4 2^{k choose 2} n^k for the number of nondegenerate positive solutions has the correct order for fixed k and large n. We also adapt a method of Perrucci to show that there are fewer than (e^2+3)/4 2^{k+1 choose 2} 2^n n^{k+1} connected components in a smooth hypersurface in the positive orthant of R^n defined by a polynomial with n+k+1 monomials. Our results hold for polynomials with real exponents.

51. On Interpolating Between Quantum and Classical Complexity Classes (by J. Maurice Rojas)

We reveal a natural algebraic problem whose complexity appears to interpolate between the well-known complexity classes BQP and NP: * Decide whether a univariate polynomial with exactly m monomial terms has a p-adic rational root. In particular, we show that while (*) is doable in quantum randomized polynomial time when m=2 (and no classical randomized polynomial time algorithm is known), (*) is nearly NP-hard for general m: Under a plausible hypothesis involving primes in arithmetic progression (implied by the Generalized Riemann Hypothesis for certain cyclotomic fields), a randomized polynomial time algorithm for (*) would imply the widely disbelieved inclusion NPBPP. This type of quantum/classical interpolation phenomenon appears to be new.

50. Efficiently Detecting Embedded Subtori and Algebraic Torsion Points (by J. Maurice Rojas)

Suppose X is the zero set in (C^*)^n of a finite collection of finite products of polynomials in Z[x_1,...,x_n]. Also let T be any multiplicative translate of an algebraic subgroup of (C^*)^n. We prove that we can decide whether X contains T (resp. X intersects T) within coNP (resp. NPNP). In particular, we can detect within NPNP whether X contains a point all of whose coordinates are dth roots of unity. The best previous complexity bound for our two main problems was PSPACE (or PPNP^NP or AM, under successively stronger unproven number-theoretic hypotheses). Independent of any number-theoretic or complexity-theoretic hypotheses, our algorithms appear to be practical. We illustrate this through several examples and comparisons with earlier complexity bounds. We thus obtain the first non-trivial families of multivariate polynomial systems where deciding the existence of complex roots can be done unconditionally in the polynomial hierarchy -- a family of complexity classes lying below PSPACE and above NP. We also discuss how our results can be viewed as an algorithmic counterpart to Laurent's solution of Chabauty's Conjecture

49. Extremal Real Algebraic Geometry and A-Discriminants (by Alicia Dickenstein, J. Maurice Rojas, Korben Rusek, and Justin Shih)

We present a new, far simpler family of counter-examples to Kushnirenko's Conjecture. Along the way, we illustrate a computer-assisted approach to finding sparse polynomial systems with maximally many real roots, thus shedding light on the nature of optimal upper bounds in real fewnomial theory. We use a powerful recent formula for the A-discriminant, and give new bounds on the topology of certain A-discriminant varieties. A consequence of the latter result is a new upper bound on the number of topological types of certain real algebraic sets defined by sparse polynomial equations.

48. A New Method of Coordination of a Group of Mobile Robots (by S. Sethuraman, M. Lal, S. Jayasuriya, and J. Maurice Rojas)

We present a new method for coordinated motion planning of multiple mobile robots. The position in 2-D of each mobile robot is mapped to a complex number and a time varying polynomial contains information regarding the current positions of all robots, the degree of the polynomial being the nubmer of robots and the roots of the polynomial repsenting the position in 2-D of the robots at a given time., This polynomial is constrcted by finding a path parameterized in time from the initial to the goal polynomial which represents the initial and goal positions of the robots so that the discriminant variety or the set of polyomali with mulitiple roots is avoided in polynomial space . This is equivalent to saying there is no collision between any two robots in going from initial position to goal position.

47. Open Questions on Extensions of Hilbert's Tenth Problem (by J. Maurice Rojas)

Expository paper for Workshop on Extensions of Hilbert's Tenth Problem at the American Institute of Mathematics.

46. Practical Conversion from Torsion Space to Cartesian Space for in silico Protein Synthesis (by Brad Holmes, Jerod Parsons, Charlie E. Strauss, J. Maurice Rojas and Jerry Tsai)

In recent years, many methods have been developed for accurately placing protein atoms (both main chain and side chain). However, a provably optimal method (from the point of view of practical computational complexity) for converting torsion angle coordinates to Cartesian coordinates is still unknown. We examine two methods, and two variants of each method, for robustness and execution time. The first method involves rotation matrices, and the variants are (a) a simple and direct 3 x 3 matrix formula and (b) a quaternion-based method. The second method used is the ab initio prediction algorithm embedded in the well-known Rosetta software. We create a variant that requires significantly fewer operations resulting in a 19% increase in computational speed. For practical applications, where tens of thousands of models are created and analyzed, this increase is of great use. Our method appears to be the most efficient at present and is suggested for everyday use.

45. First Steps in Algorithmic Real Fewnomial Theory (by Frederic Bihan, J. Maurice Rojas, and Casey Stella)

Fewnomial theory began with explicit bounds --- solely in terms of the number of variables and monomial terms --- on the number of real roots of systems of polynomial equations. Here we take the next logical step of investigating the corresponding existence problem: Let FEAS_R denote the problem of deciding whether a given system of multivariate polynomial equations with integer coefficients has a real root or not. We describe a phase-transition for when m is large enough to make FEAS_R be NP-hard, when restricted to inputs consisting of a single n-variate polynomial with exactly m monomial terms: polynomial-time for m≥n+2 (for any fixed n) and NP-hardness for m≥n+n^c (for n varying and any fixed c>0). Because of important connections between FEAS_R and A-discriminants, we then study some new families of A-discriminants whose signs can be decided within polynomial-time. (A-discriminants contain all known resultants as special cases, and the latter objects are central in algorithmic algebraic geometry.) Baker's Theorem from diophantine approximation arises as a key tool. Along the way, we also derive new quantitative bounds on the real zero sets of n-variate (n+2)-nomials.

44. Open Questions on Amoeba Theory and Tropical Geometry (by J. Maurice Rojas)

Expository paper for Workshop on Amoebas and Tropical Geometry at the American Institute of Mathematics.

43. A Direct Ultrametric Approach to Additive Complexity and the Shub-Smale Tau Conjecture (by J. Maurice Rojas)

The Shub-Smale Tau Conjecture is a hypothesis relating the number of integral roots of a polynomial f in one variable and the Straight-Line Program (SLP) complexity of f. A consequence of the truth of this conjecture is that, for the Blum-Shub-Smale model over the complex numbers, P differs NP. We show that the Tau Conjecture follows from the truth of two simpler conjectures. We then prove modified versions of the latter two conjectures which, while not strong enough to yield the Tau Conjecture, nevertheless yield new sharper lower bounds for the additive complexity of polynomials. Our results follow from a new sharper p-adic analogue of earlier work relating real algebraic geometry to additive complexity. For instance, we can show that a nonzero univariate polynomial of additive complexity s can have no more than 1+s!s^2 15^s=O(3^{s log s}) roots in the 2-adic rational numbers Q_2, thus dramatically improving an earlier result of the author. This immediately implies the same bound on the number of ordinary rational roots, whereas the best previous upper bound via earlier techniques from real algebraic geometry was a quantity in Omega((22.6)^{s^2}).

42. Dedekind Zeta Functions and the Complexity of Hilbert's Nullstellensatz (by J. Maurice Rojas)

Let HN denote the problem of determining whether a system of multivariate polynomials with integer coefficients has a complex root. It has been known at least since the 1970's that HN in P implies P=NP. However, the inverse implication was an open problem until around 1996 when Pascal Koiran proved that HN not in P implies that P differs from NP, assuming the Generalized Riemann Hypothesis (GRH). We show that the assumption of GRH in the latter implication can be replaced by any one of three weaker hypotheses from analytic number theory. In particular, all our hypotheses still hold even under certain failures of GRH, including the presence of Siegel-Landau zeroes. We thus obtain a new application of Dedekind zero estimates to computational algebraic geometry. Along the way, we also derive a new and sharper explicit estimate on rational univariate reduction and employ some new (unpublished) analytic estimates of Silberman, both of which may be of independent interest. Our results also extend easily to the harder problem of determining the dimension of a complex algebraic set.

41. An Improved Bound on the VC-Dimension of Neural Networks with Polynomial Activation Functions (by M. Vidyasagar and J. Maurice Rojas)

We derive an improved upper bound for the VC-dimension of neural networks with polynomial activation functions. This improved bound is based on a result of Rojas on the number of connected components of a semi-algebraic set.

40. On Solving Fewnomials Over an Interval in Logarithmic Time (by J. Maurice Rojas and Yinyu Ye)

Let f be a degree D univariate polynomial with real coefficients and exactly m monomial terms. We show that in the special case m=3 we can approximate (within epsilon) all the roots of f in any closed interval of length R using just O((log D)(log log R/epsilon) + log^2 D) arithmetic operations. In particular, we can count the number of roots in any interval using just O((log^2 D)) arithmetic operations, and the fastest previous algorithms for both problems had arithmetic complexity superlinear in D. We also discuss conditions under which our algorithms can be extended to general m and certain multivariate fewnomial systems.

39. The Exact Rational Univariate Representation for Detecting Degeneracies (by Koji Ouchi, John Keyser, and J. Maurice Rojas)

We describe a method, based on rational univariate reduction (RUR),for computing roots of systems of multivariate polynomials withrational coefficients. Our method enables exact algebraiccomputations with the root coordinates and works even if the underlyingset of roots is positive-dimensional. We describe several applications,with special emphasis on geometric modeling. In particular, we describea new implementation that has been used successfully on certaindegenerate boundary evaluation problems.

38. High Probability Analysis of the Condition Number of Sparse Polynomial Systems (by Gregorio Malajovich and J. Maurice Rojas)

Let f:=(f_1,...,f_n) be a random polynomial system with fixed n-tuple of supports. Our main result is an upper bound on the probability that the condition number of f in a region U is larger than 1/epsilon. The bound depends on an integral of a differential form on a toric manifold and admits a simple explicit upper bound when the Newton polytopes (and underlying covariances) are all identical. We also consider polynomials with real coefficients and give bounds for the expected number of real roots and (restricted) condition number. Using a Kahler geometric framework throughout, we also express the expected number of roots of f inside a region U as the integral over U of a certain mixed volume form, thus recovering the classical mixed volume when U = (C^*)^n.

37. Attitude and Position Estimation from Vector Observations (by Daniele Mortari, J. Maurice Rojas, and John L. Junkins)

This paper introduces three novel methods to evaluate attitude and position from vector observations using a vision-based technology camera. The first approach, called Linear Algebra Resection Approach (LARA) , solves for attitude and position simultaneously and can be used in the lost-in-space case, when no approximate solution is available. The solution is shown to be the left eigenvector associated with the minimum singular value of a rectangular data matrix. The second and third approaches, called Attitude Free Approaches (AFA), recast the problem into a nonlinear system of equations in terms of the unknown position only. Two different methods are proposed to solve this nonlinear set of equations. The First AFA (FAFA) uses a least-square Newton-Raphson iterative procedure and is particularly suitable for the recursive case, while the Second AFA (SAFA) uses the toric resultant to eliminate two variables from the attitude-free system of nonlinear polynomial equations and a discretization of the Cauchy integral theorem to quickly isolate the solution. SAFA can be used either in the lost-in-space or in the recursive cases. Final numerical tests quantify the robustness of these methods in the case of measurements affected by noise.

36. Arithmetic Multivariate Descartes' Rule (by J. Maurice Rojas)

Let L be any number field or p-adic field and consider F:=(f_1,...,f_k) where f_1,...,f_k in L[x_1,...,x_n] and F has a total of m distinct exponent vectors. We prove that F has no more than 1+(C n (m-n)^3 log(m-n))^n geometrically isolated roots in L^n, where C is an explicit and effectively computable constant depending only on L. This gives a significantly sharper arithmetic analogue of Khovanski's Theorem on Real Fewnomials and a higher-dimensional generalization of an earlier result of Hendrik W. Lenstra, Jr. for the case of a single univariate polynomial. We also present some further refinements of our new bounds and an extension of a bound of Lipshitz on p-adic complex roots. Connections to non-Archimedean amoebae and computational complexity (including additive complexity and solving for the geometrically isolated rational roots) are discussed along the way. We thus provide the foundations for an effective arithmetic analogue of fewnomial theory.

35. On the Determination of the Degree of an Equation Obtained by Elimination (by David A. Cox and J. Maurice Rojas)

In 1841, Ferdinand Minding published Ueber die Bestimmung des Grades einer durch Elimination hervorgehenden Gleichung in Crelle's Journal. His main theorem represents the first (implicit) appearance of the BKK bound (and even some of its extensions) in the mathematical literature. We present an English translation of this paper and a commentary which explains how Minding's formula relates to the mixed area of lattice polygons.

34. Why Polyhedra Matter in Non-Linear Equation Solving (by J. Maurice Rojas)

We give an elementary introduction to some recent polyhedral techniques for understanding and solving systems of multivariate polynomial equations. We provide numerous concrete examples and illustrations, and assume no background in algebraic geometry. Highlights include the following:

1. A completely self-contained proof of an extension of Bernstein's Theorem. Our extension relates volumes of polytopes with the number of connected components of the complex zero set of a polynomial system, and allows any number of polynomials and/or variables.

2. A near optimal complexity bound for computing mixed area --- a quantity intimately related to counting complex roots in the plane.

3. Illustration of the connection between polyhedral methods, amoeba theory, toric varieties, and discriminants.

33. Counting Real Connected Components of Trinomial Curve Intersections and m-nomial Hypersurfaces (by Tien-Yien LI, J. Maurice Rojas, and Xiaoshen WANG)

We prove that any pair of bivariate trinomials has at most 5 isolated roots in the positive quadrant. The best previous upper bounds independent of the polynomial degrees counted only non-degenerate roots and even then gave much larger bounds, e.g., 248832 via a famous general result of Khovanski. Our bound is sharp, allows real exponents, and extends to certain systems of n-variate fewnomials, giving improvements over earlier bounds by a factor exponential in the number of monomials. We also derive new analogous sharper bounds on the number of connected components of the real zero set of a single n-variate m-nomial.

32. 1+1=0 and Information Security (by J. Maurice Rojas)

An invited 2 page expository article on cryptography and information security, for a general audience.

31. Random Polynomial Systems (by Gregorio Malajovich and J. Maurice Rojas)

Let f:=(f^1,...,f^n) be a sparse random polynomial system. This means that each f^i has fixed support (list of possibly non-zero coefficients) and each coefficient has a Gaussian probability distribution of arbitrary variance. We express the expected number of roots of f inside a region U as the integral over U of a certain mixed volume form. When U = (C^*)^n, the classical mixed volume is recovered. The main result in this paper is a bound on the probability that the condition number of f on the region U is larger than 1/epsilon. This bound depends on the integral of the mixed volume form over U, and on a certain intrinsic invariant of U as a subset of a toric manifold. Polynomials with real coefficients are also considered, and bounds for the expected number of real roots and for the condition number are given. The connection between zeros of sparse random polynomial systems, Kahler geometry, and mechanics (momentum maps) is discussed.

30. Computing Complex Dimension Faster and Deterministically (by J. Maurice Rojas)

We give a new complexity bound for calculating the complex dimension of an algebraic set. Our algorithm is completely deterministic and approaches the best recent randomized complexity bounds. We also present some new, significantly sharper quantitative estimates on rational univariate representations of roots of polynomial systems. As a corollary of the latter bounds, we considerably improve a recent algorithm of Koiran for deciding the emptiness of a hypersurface intersection over the complex numbers, given the truth of the Generalized Riemann Hypothesis (GRH).

29. Descartes' Rule for Trinomials in the Plane and Beyond (by J. Maurice Rojas)

We prove that any pair of bivariate trinomials has at most 16 roots in the positive quadrant, assuming there are only finitely many roots there. The best previous upper bound independent of the polynomial degrees (following from a general result of Khovanski with stronger non-degeneracy hypotheses) was 248,832. Our proof allows real exponents and extends to certain systems of n-variate fewnomials.

We thus obtain the first non-trivial improvement in Fewnomial Theory in close to 20 years.

28. Geometry and Topology: Seven Lectures by Raoul Bott, (notes edited by J. Maurice Rojas)

These are notes for a series of lectures delivered by Professor Raoul Bott, William Caspar Graustein Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University, at City University of Hong Kong during the spring of 1999. The topics covered are: the role of shape in mathematics and physics, morse theory in mathematics and physics, and an introduction to equivariant cohomology. The first chapter of these notes, on the role of shape, is expository, while the second and third chapters push successively closer to the frontiers of current research in geometry and topology. The lecture for chapter one was a City University of Hong Kong Public Lecture delivered on March 4, 1999. The lecture for chapter two, presented on February 5, 1999, was sponsored by the Epson Foundation.

27. Additive Complexity and the Roots of Polynomials Over Number Fields and p-adic Fields (by J. Maurice Rojas)

Consider any nonzero univariate polynomial with rational coefficients, presented as an elementary algebraic expression (using only integer exponents). Letting s(f) denotes the additive complexity of f, we show that the number of rational roots of f is no more than 15 + s(f)^2 (24.01)^{s(f)} s(f)!. This provides a sharper arithmetic analogue of earlier results of Dima Grigoriev and Jean-Jacques Risler, which gave a bound of C^{s(f)^2} for the number of real roots of f, for s(f) sufficiently large and some positive constant no larger than 32. We extend our new bound to arbitrary finite extensions of the ordinary or p-adic rationals, roots of bounded degree over a number field, and geometrically isolated roots of multivariate polynomial systems. We thus extend earlier bounds of Hendrik W. Lenstra, Jr. and the author to encodings more efficient than monomial expansions. We also mention a connection to complexity theory and note that our bounds hold for a broader class of fields.

26. Proceedings of Smalefest 2000: Papers From an International Conference in Honor of Steve Smale's 70th Birthday (July 2000, City University of Hong Kong), (edited by Felipe Cucker and J. Maurice Rojas)

A collection of 19 papers presented at Smalefest 2000, in honor Steve Smale's 70th birthday. All papers were refereed, maintaining the same high standards set in the earlier Smalefest/FoCM volumes of 1990, 1996, 1997, 1999 and the Journal of Complexity FoCM special issue of December 1996. The 29 participating authors, in alphabetical order, were: Dan Abramovich, Lenore Blum, Olivier Catoni, Henry S. Y. Chan, K. W. Chung, Felipe Cucker, Jean-Pierre Dedieu, Jackie C. K. Ho, Ulrich H. Kortenkamp, Eric Kostlan, Jibin Li, Gongfu Liao, Janos A. Makowsky, Gregorio Malajovich, Klaus Meer, Bernard Mourrain, Erich Novak, Igor Pak, Victor Y. Pan, Jurgen Richter-Gebert, J. Maurice Rojas, Olivier Ruatta, David Ruelle, Mike Shub, Levent Tuncel, Lidong Wang, Henryk Wozniakowski, Jean-Claude Yakoubsohn, Jian Zhang.

25. Extending Triangulations and Semistable Reduction,(by Dan Abramovich and J. Maurice Rojas)

In the past three decades, a strong relationship has been established between convex geometry, represented by convex polyhedra and polyhedral complexes, and algebraic geometry, represented by toric varieties and toroidal embeddings. In this note we exploit this relationship in the following manner. We address a basic problem in algebraic geometry: a certain version of semistable reduction (a far-reaching extension of Hironaka's famous resolution of singularities). Here, we will translate the local case of semistable reduction, over a base variety of dimension >1, into a basic problem about polyhedral complexes: extending triangulations. Once we solve the second problem, the first follows.

24. Polynomial Systems and the Momentum Map (by Gregorio Malajovich and J. Maurice Rojas)

This paper outlines a Kahler-geometric approach to the study of random sparse polynomial systems, with a view toward understanding the distribution of solutions and their numerical conditioning. Our main results for random sparse polynomial systems include: (1) A new formula, in terms of a particular differential form, for the average number of complex roots in any measurable region, and (2) New bounds relating numerical conditioning of any given sparse polynomial system to the nearest ill-posed problem.

23. Finiteness for Arithmetic Fewnomial Systems (by J. Maurice Rojas)

Suppose L is any finite algebraic extension of either the ordinary rational numbers or the p-adic rational numbers. Also let g_1,...,g_k be polynomials in n variables, with coefficients in L, such that the total number of monomial terms appearing in at least one g_i is exactly m. We prove that the maximum number of isolated roots of G:=(g_1,...,g_k) in L^n is finite and depends solely on (m,n,L), i.e., is independent of the degrees of the g_i. We thus obtain an arithmetic analogue of Khovanski's Theorem on Fewnomials, extending earlier work of Denef, van den Dries, Lipshitz, and Lenstra.

22. Computational Arithmetic Geometry I: Sentences Nearly in the Polynomial Hierarchy (by J. Maurice Rojas)

We consider the average-case complexity of some otherwise undecidable or open Diophantine problems. More precisely, consider the following: (I) Given a polynomial f in Z[v,x,y], decide the quantified sentence E v A x E y f(v,x,y)=0 with all three quantifiers ranging over N (or Z). (II) Given polynomials f_1,...,f_m in Z[x_1,...,x_n] with m no smaller than n, decide if there is a rational solution to f_1=...=f_m=0. We show that problem (I) can be done within coNP for almost all inputs. The decidability of problem (I), over N and Z, was previously unknown. We also show that the Generalized Riemann Hypothesis (GRH) implies that problem (II) can be solved within the complexity class P^{NP^NP} for almost all inputs, i.e., within the third level of the polynomial hierarchy. The decidability of problem (II), even in the case m=n=2, remains open in general. Along the way, we prove results relating polynomial system solving over C, Q, and Z/pZ. We also prove a result on Galois groups associated to sparse polynomial systems which may be of independent interest. A practical observation is that the aforementioned Diophantine problems should perhaps be avoided in the construction of crypto-systems.

21. Algebraic Geometry Over Four Rings and the Frontier to Tractability, (by J. Maurice Rojas) invited paper

We present some new and recent algorithmic results concerning polynomial system solving over various rings. In particular, we present some of the best recent bounds on: (a) The complexity of calculating the complex dimension of an algebraic set (b) The height of the zero-dimensional part of an algebraic set over C (c) The number of connected components of a semi-algebraic set We also present some results which significantly lower the complexity of deciding the emptiness of hypersurface intersections over C and Q, given the truth of the Generalized Riemann Hypothesis. Furthermore, we state some recent progress on the decidability of the prefixes EAE and EEAE, quantified over the positive integers. As an application, we conclude with a result connecting Hilbert's Tenth Problem in three variables and height bounds for integral points on algebraic curves. This paper is based on three invited lectures presented at the conference corresponding to this proceedings volume. The titles of the lectures were ``Some Speed-Ups in Computational Algebraic Geometry,'' ``Diophantine Problems Nearly in the Polynomial Hierarchy,'' and ``Curves, Surfaces, and the Frontier to Undecidability.''

20. Some Speed-Ups and Speed Limits for Real Algebraic Geometry, (by J. Maurice Rojas) Winner of the Journal of Complexity 2000 Best Paper Award

We give new positive and negative results, some conditional, on speeding up computational algebraic geometry over the reals: (1) A new and sharper upper bound on the number of connected components of a semi-algebraic set. Our bound is novel in that it is stated in terms of the volumes of certain polytopes and, for a large class of inputs, beats the best previous bounds by a factor exponential in the number of variables. (2) A new algorithm for approximating the real roots of certain sparse polynomial systems. Two features of our algorithm are (a) arithmetic complexity polylogarithmic in the degree of the underlying complex variety (as opposed to the super-linear dependence in earlier algorithms) and (b) a simple and efficient generalization to certain univariate exponential sums. (3) Detecting whether a real algebraic surface (given as the common zero set of some input straight-line programs) is not smooth can be done in polynomial time within the classical Turing model (resp. BSS model over C) only if P=NP (resp. NP is contanied in BPP). The last result follows easily from an unpublished observation of Steve Smale.

19. Uncomputably Large Integral Points on Algebraic Plane Curves? (by J. Maurice Rojas)

We show that the decidability of an amplification of Hilbert's Tenth Problem in three variables implies the existence of uncomputably large integral points on certain algebraic curves. We obtain this as a corollary of a new positive complexity result: the Diophantine prefix EAE is generically decidable. This means that we give a precise geometric classification of those polynomials f in Z[v,x,y] for which the question ``Is there a v in N such that for all x in N, there exists a y in N with f(v,x,y)=0?'' may be undecidable, and we show that this set of polynomials is quite small in a rigourous sense. (The decidability of EAE was previously an open question.) We also show that if integral points on curves can be bounded effectively, then EEAE is generically decidable as well. We thus obtain a connection between the decidability of certain Diophantine problems, height bounds for points on curves, and the geometry of certain complex surfaces and 3-folds.

18. On the Complexity of Diophantine Geometry in Low Dimensions (by J. Maurice Rojas)

We consider the average-case complexity of some otherwise undecidable or open Diophantine problems. More precisely, we show that the following two problems can be solved in the complexity class PSPACE: (I) Given polynomials f_1,...,f_m in Z[x_1,...,x_n] defining a variety of dimension <=0 in C^n, find all solutions in Z^n of f_1=...=f_m=0. (II) For a given polynomial f in Z[v,x,y] defining an irreducible nonsingular non-ruled surface in C^3, decide the sentence ``E v A x E y such that f(v,x,y)=0?'' quantified over N. Better still, we show that the truth of the Generalized Riemann Hypothesis implies that detecting roots in Q^n for the polynomial systems in (I) can be done via a two-round Arthur-Merlin protocol, i.e., well within the second level of the polynomial hierarchy. (Problem (I) is, of course, undecidable without the dimension assumption.) The decidability of problem (II) was previously unknown. Along the way, we also prove new complexity and size bounds for solving polynomial systems over C and Z/pZ. A practical point of interest is that the aforementioned Diophantine problems should perhaps be avoided in the construction of crypto-systems.

17. Solving Degenerate Sparse Polynomial Systems Faster (by J. Maurice Rojas)

Consider a system F of n polynomial equations in n unknowns, over an algebraically closed field of arbitrary characteristic. We present a fast method to find a point in every irreducible component of the zero set Z of F. Our techniques allow us to sharpen and lower prior complexity bounds for this problem by fully taking into account the monomial term structure. As a corollary of our development we also obtain new explicit formulae for the exact number of isolated roots of F and the intersection multiplicity of the positive-dimensional part of Z. Finally, we present a combinatorial construction of non-degenerate polynomial systems, with specified monomial term structure and maximally many isolated roots, which may be of independent interest.

16. Toric Intersection Theory for Affine Root Counting (by J. Maurice Rojas)

Given any polynomial system with fixed monomial term structure, we give explicit formulae for the generic number of roots (over any algebraically closed field) with specified coordinate vanishing restrictions. For the case of affine space minus an arbitrary union of coordinate hyperplanes, these formulae are also the tightest possible upper bounds on the number of isolated roots. We also characterize, in terms of sparse resultants, precisely when these upper bounds are attained. Finally, we reformulate and extend some of the prior combinatorial results of the author on which subsets of coefficients must be chosen generically for our formulae to be exact. Our underlying framework provides a new toric variety setting for computational intersection theory in affine space minus an arbitrary union of coordinate hyperplanes. We thus show that, at least for root counting, it is better to work in a naturally associated toric compactification instead of always resorting to products of projective spaces.

15. Intrinsic Near Quadratic Complexity Bounds for Real Multivariate Root Counting, (by J. Maurice Rojas)

We give a new algorithm, with three versions, for computing the number of real roots of a system of n polynomial equations in n unknowns. The first version is of Monte Carlo type and, neglecting logarithmic factrs, runs in time quadratic in the average number of roots of a closely related system. The other two versions run nearly as fast and progressively remove a measure zero locus of failures present in the first version. Via a slight simplification of our algorithm , we can also count complex roots, with or without multiplicity, within the same complexity bounds. We also derive an even faster algorithm for the special case n=2, which may be of independent interest.

14. Affine Elimination Theory (by J. Maurice Rojas)

An extension of the toric (a.k.a.) sparse resultant is given which correctly addresses roots with some coordinate zero. In particular, when the affine resultant introduced here is applied to the usual u-resultant and generalized characteristic polynomial constructions, the correct intersection multiplicities for the affine roots can be found (unlike the earlier situation where the toric resultant would have been used).

13. Toric Generalized Characteristic Polynomials (by J. Maurice Rojas)

We extend the generalized characteristic polynomial (GCP) of Canny to toric varieties given by arbitrary point sets. As a consequence, we obtain new complexity bounds for polynomial system solving which are (a) expressible in terms of Newton polytope volumes, and (b) completely general, free of non-degeneracy assumptions. Part (a) thus implies that our algorithm is always at least as fast as the original GCP and frequently faster by a factor exponential in the number of variables.

12. Some New Applications of Toric Geometry (by J. Maurice Rojas)

Here, some algorithmic tricks involving toric varieties are collected. The primary goal is to lay down the necessary theory for output sensitive algorithms for computational algebraic geometry. Such algorithms take the monomial term structure of the input (which is frequently ignored in many modern algorithms) into greater account, and thus result in speed-ups exponential in the number of variables.

11. A New Approach to Counting Nash Equilibria (by J. Maurice Rojas)

10. Toric Laminations, Sparse Generalized Characteristic Polynomials, and a Refinement of Hilbert's Tenth Problem (by J. Maurice Rojas)

This paper reexamines univariate reduction from a toric geometric point of view. We begin by constructing a binomial variant of the u-resultant and then retailor the generalized characteristic polynomial to fully exploit sparsity in the monomial term structure of any given polynomial system. We thus obtain a fast new algorithm for univariate reduction and a better understanding of the underlying projections. As a corollary, we show that a refinement of Hilbert's Tenth Problem is decidable within single-exponential time. We also show how certain multisymmetric functions of the roots of polynomial systems can be calculated with sparse resultants.

9. Commutative Algebra Without Commutativity (by J. Maurice Rojas)

This is the sole solution given to Problem 10437 from volume 104, number 7 (august-september, 1997), of the American Mathematical Monthly.

8. Counting Affine Roots Via Pointed Newton Polytopes, (by J. Maurice Rojas and Xiaoshen Wang)

We give a new upper bound on the number of isolated roots of a polynomial system. Unlike many previous bounds, our bound can also be restricted to different open subsets of affine space. Our methods give significantly sharper bounds than the classical Bezout theorems and further generalize the mixed volume root counts discovered in the late 1970's. We also give a complete combinatorial characterization of the subsets of coefficients whose genericity guarantees that our bound is actually an exact root count in affine space. Our results hold over any algebraically closed field.

7.On the Average Number of Real Roots of Certain Sparse Polynomial Systems (by J. Maurice Rojas)

We derive an explicit formula for the expected number of real roots of certain random sparse polynomial systems. We propose (and use) a probability measure which is natural in the sense that it is invariant under a natural G-action on the space of roots, where G is a product of orthogonal groups. Our formula arose from an effort (now an ongoing project with J.-P. Dedieu) to generalize the recent condition number theorems of Shub and Smale to sparse polynomial systems and compactifications other than projective space.

6. Extensions and Corrections for `A Convex Geometric...' (by J. Maurice Rojas)

This brief note corrects some errors in the paper quoted in the title, highlights a combinatorial result which may have been overlooked, and points to further improvements in the recent literature.

5. Cohomology, Combinatorics, and Complexity Arising from Solving Polynomial Systems (by J. Maurice Rojas)

4. Problem 10437 (by J. Maurice Rojas)

(I submitted this problem in the summer of 1993, while I was a grad student at U. C. Berkeley and enjoying a summer job at AT&T. The problem eventually appeared in the February 1995 issue (Volume 102, #2, page 170) of the ``Monthly.'' No correct solutions were received, so my solution was finally published (in the same journal) in 1997.) Let R be a ring (whose multiplication need not be commutative or associative) without zero divisors. Let x_1,...,x_n be algebraically independent indeterminates over R which commute and associate amongst themselves and commute with the elements of R. Also assume the associative law for products of one element of R, an x_i, and an x_j. Prove the following: (a) If f is a homogeneous polynomial in R[x_1,...,x_n], then every divisor of f is homogeneous. (b) If a_1,...,a_n are nonzero elements of R and d_1,...,d_n are nonnegative integers with gcd(d_1,...,d_n)=1, then the polynomial a_1x^{d_1}_1 + ... + a_n x^{d_n}_n is irreducible in R[x_1,...,x_n], i.e., every factorization has at most one nonconstant factor.

3. A Convex Geometric Approach to Counting the Roots of a Polynomial System (by J. Maurice Rojas)

Consider a polynomial system F=(f_1,...,f_n) in n variables with complex coefficients. A standard way to bound the number of isolated roots of F in C^n is to multiply and add the degrees of the fi in a straightforward computation described explicitly by some variant of Bézout's theorem. Unfortunately, even if one knows a priori which monomial terms will appear, this upper bound can be far from exact. In practice, one frequently knows which monomial terms will appear in a polynomial system before one actually decides to count or approximate its roots, so a fast accurate root count which takes this additional information into account is vital. We propose a much tighter upper bound on the number of isolated roots of F in C^n, and give an explicit combinatorial geometric criterion for when it is exact. As a corollary we obtain a geometric characterization of the average-case computational complexity of root counting. Our root count is a formula derived from the theory of toric varieties and its computation involves finding the mixed volume of n shadowed polytopes in Rn. Our formula generalizes the BKK bound (Bernshtein, 1975; Kushnirenko, 1976; Khovanskii, 1978; Canny and Rojas, 1991) in four ways:
(1) For any r in {0,...,n}, our formula can be used to count the roots whose first r coordinates are nonzero. (The BKK bound only handles the r=n case.) As a corollary we obtain that for fixed n, all of these root counts (for generic F) can be done in time polynomial in the numbers of monomial terms of the f_i.
(2) We refine Bernshtein's (1975) algebraic criterion for exactness of the BKK bound into a complete classification of the subsets of the coefficients of F whose genericity guarantees exactness in our generalized bound.
(3) Our results are stated in terms of arbitrary algebraically closed fields of any characteristic. (The BKK bound was originally stated only over the complex numbers.)
(4) We generalize all of the above to results on the number of (n-k)-dimensional components of the zero set of (f_1,...,f_k) when k<=n.
The classification in (2) also leads to an interesting new result in convex geometry and gives an additional insight to recent work by Canny, Emiris, Pedersen and Sturmfels on the sparse resultant (Canny and Emiris, 1993; Pedersen and Sturmfels, 1993). As a corollary of (1) and (2) we obtain a new method for choosing start systems for homotopy algorithms for solving polynomial systems. We also consider various examples-among them, multilinear systems, the generalized eigenvalue problem, and the cyclic n-root problem from Fourier analysis.

2. A New Upper Bound on the Number of Roots of a Multilinear System (by J. Maurice Rojas)

1. An Optimal Condition for Determining the Exact Number of Roots of a Polynomial System, (by John Canny and J. Maurice Rojas)

It was shown by David N. Bernstein in 1975 that the number of complex roots (with no zero coordinates) of a polynomial system depends only on the Newton polytopes of the system, for almost all specializations of the coefficients. This result, henceforth referred to as the BKK bound, yields an upper bound on the number of complex isolated roots of a polynomial system which is often much better than the Bezout bound. However, Bernstein's result only gave an exact bound if all the coefficients corresponding to the Newton polytope boundaries are generically chosen. In this paper, we show that the BKK bound is exact under much weaker assumptions: only coefficients corresponding to certain vertices of the Newton polytopes need be generic. This result allows application of the BKK bound to many practical problems where a lower bound is need for the number of complex isolated roots.