SoS and Planted Clique: Tight Analysis of MPW Moments at all Degrees and an Optimal Lower Bound at Degree Four
Abstract
The problem of finding large cliques in random graphs and its "planted" variant, where one wants to recover a clique of size $\omega \gg \log{(n)}$ added to an \Erdos\Renyi graph $G \sim G(n,\frac{1}{2})$, have been intensely studied. Nevertheless, existing polynomial time algorithms can only recover planted cliques of size $\omega = \Omega(\sqrt{n})$. By contrast, information theoretically, one can recover planted cliques so long as $\omega \gg \log{(n)}$. In this work, we continue the investigation of algorithms from the sum of squares hierarchy for solving the planted clique problem begun by Meka, Potechin, and Wigderson (MPW, 2015) and Deshpande and Montanari (DM,2015). Our main results improve upon both these previous works by showing: 1. Degree four SoS does not recover the planted clique unless $\omega \gg \sqrt n poly \log n$, improving upon the bound $\omega \gg n^{1/3}$ due to DM. A similar result was obtained independently by Raghavendra and Schramm (2015). 2. For $2 < d = o(\sqrt{\log{(n)}})$, degree $2d$ SoS does not recover the planted clique unless $\omega \gg n^{1/(d + 1)} /(2^d poly \log n)$, improving upon the bound due to MPW. Our proof for the second result is based on a fine spectral analysis of the certificate used in the prior works MPW,DM and Feige and Krauthgamer (2003) by decomposing it along an appropriately chosen basis. Along the way, we develop combinatorial tools to analyze the spectrum of random matrices with dependent entries and to understand the symmetries in the eigenspaces of the set symmetric matrices inspired by work of Grigoriev (2001). An argument of Kelner shows that the first result cannot be proved using the same certificate. Rather, our proof involves constructing and analyzing a new certificate that yields the nearly tight lower bound by "correcting" the certificate of previous works.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 July 2015
 DOI:
 10.48550/arXiv.1507.05230
 arXiv:
 arXiv:1507.05230
 Bibcode:
 2015arXiv150705230H
 Keywords:

 Computer Science  Computational Complexity;
 F.2.0
 EPrint:
 67 pages, 2 figures