Polynomial -Time Pseudodeterministic Construction of Primes

Abstract: A randomized algorithm for a search problem is pseudodeterministic if it produces a fixed canonical solution to the search problem with high probability. In their seminal work on the topic, Gat and Goldwasser posed as their main open problem whether prime numbers can be pseudodeterministically constructed in polynomial time. We provide a positive solution to this question in the infinitely-often regime. In more detail, we give an unconditional polynomial-time randomized algorithm B such that, for infinitely many values of n, B(1^n) outputs a canonical n-bit prime p_n with high probability. More generally, we prove that for every dense property Q of strings that can be decided in polynomial time, there is an infinitely-often pseudodeterministic polynomial-time construction of strings satisfying Q. This improves upon a subexponential-time construction of Oliveira and Santhanam. Our construction uses several new ideas, including a novel bootstrapping technique for pseudodeterministic constructions, and a quantitative optimization of the uniform hardness-randomness framework of Chen and Tell, using a variant of the Shaltiel-Umans generator. This talk is based on joint work with Zhenjian Lu, Igor C. Oliveira, Hanlin Ren, and Rahul Santhanam.

Bio: Lijie Chen is a Miller Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley, hosted by Avishay Tal. He got his Ph.D. from MIT, advised by Ryan Williams. Prior to that, he received his bachelor's degree from Yao Class at Tsinghua University.