On kMerBased and Maximum Likelihood Estimation Algorithms for Trace Reconstruction
Abstract
The goal of the trace reconstruction problem is to recover a string $x\in\{0,1\}^n$ given many independent {\em traces} of $x$, where a trace is a subsequence obtained from deleting bits of $x$ independently with some given probability $p\in [0,1).$ A recent result of Chase (STOC 2021) shows how $x$ can be determined (in exponential time) from $\exp(\widetilde{O}(n^{1/5}))$ traces. This is the stateoftheart result on the sample complexity of trace reconstruction. In this paper we consider two kinds of algorithms for the trace reconstruction problem. Our first, and technically more involved, result shows that any $k$merbased algorithm for trace reconstruction must use $\exp(\Omega(n^{1/5}))$ traces, under the assumption that the estimator requires $poly(2^k, 1/\varepsilon)$ traces, thus establishing the optimality of this number of traces. The analysis of this result also shows that the analysis technique used by Chase (STOC 2021) is essentially tight, and hence new techniques are needed in order to improve the worstcase upper bound. Our second, simple, result considers the performance of the Maximum Likelihood Estimator (MLE), which specifically picks the source string that has the maximum likelihood to generate the samples (traces). We show that the MLE algorithm uses a nearly optimal number of traces, \ie, up to a factor of $n$ in the number of samples needed for an optimal algorithm, and show that this factor of $n$ loss may be necessary under general ``model estimation'' settings.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 August 2023
 DOI:
 10.48550/arXiv.2308.14993
 arXiv:
 arXiv:2308.14993
 Bibcode:
 2023arXiv230814993C
 Keywords:

 Computer Science  Information Theory