Date of Original Version
Proceedings of the 41st Annual ACM Symposium on theory of Computing (Bethesda, MD, USA, May 31 - June 02, 2009). STOC '09. ACM, New York, NY, 493-502.
Abstract or Table of Contents
In this paper we study a fundamental open problem in the area of probabilistic checkable proofs: What is the smallest s such that NP ⊆ naPCP1,s[O(log n),3]? In the language of hardness of approximation, this problem is equivalent to determining the smallest s such that getting an s-approximation for satisfiable 3-bit constraint satisfaction problems ("3-CSPs") is NP-hard. The previous best upper bound and lower bound for s are 20/27+µ by Khot and Saket [KS06], and 5/8 (assuming NP subseteq BPP) by Zwick [Zwi98]. In this paper we close the gap assuming Khot's d-to-1 Conjecture. Formally, we prove that if Khot's d-to-1 Conjecture holds for any finite constant integer d, then NP naPCP1,5/8+ µ[O(log n),3] for any constant µ > 0. Our conditional result also solves Hastad's open question [Has01] on determining the inapproximability of satisfiable Max-NTW ("Not Two") instances and confirms Zwick's conjecture [Zwi98] that the 5/8-approximation algorithm for satisfiable 3-CSPs is optimal.