@inproceedings{27160,
abstract = {{We study the complexity of problems solvable in deterministic polynomial time
with access to an NP or Quantum Merlin-Arthur (QMA)-oracle, such as $P^{NP}$
and $P^{QMA}$, respectively. The former allows one to classify problems more
finely than the Polynomial-Time Hierarchy (PH), whereas the latter
characterizes physically motivated problems such as Approximate Simulation
(APX-SIM) [Ambainis, CCC 2014]. In this area, a central role has been played by
the classes $P^{NP[\log]}$ and $P^{QMA[\log]}$, defined identically to $P^{NP}$
and $P^{QMA}$, except that only logarithmically many oracle queries are
allowed. Here, [Gottlob, FOCS 1993] showed that if the adaptive queries made by
a $P^{NP}$ machine have a "query graph" which is a tree, then this computation
can be simulated in $P^{NP[\log]}$.
In this work, we first show that for any verification class
$C\in\{NP,MA,QCMA,QMA,QMA(2),NEXP,QMA_{\exp}\}$, any $P^C$ machine with a query
graph of "separator number" $s$ can be simulated using deterministic time
$\exp(s\log n)$ and $s\log n$ queries to a $C$-oracle. When $s\in O(1)$ (which
includes the case of $O(1)$-treewidth, and thus also of trees), this gives an
upper bound of $P^{C[\log]}$, and when $s\in O(\log^k(n))$, this yields bound
$QP^{C[\log^{k+1}]}$ (QP meaning quasi-polynomial time). We next show how to
combine Gottlob's "admissible-weighting function" framework with the
"flag-qubit" framework of [Watson, Bausch, Gharibian, 2020], obtaining a
unified approach for embedding $P^C$ computations directly into APX-SIM
instances in a black-box fashion. Finally, we formalize a simple no-go
statement about polynomials (c.f. [Krentel, STOC 1986]): Given a multi-linear
polynomial $p$ specified via an arithmetic circuit, if one can "weakly
compress" $p$ so that its optimal value requires $m$ bits to represent, then
$P^{NP}$ can be decided with only $m$ queries to an NP-oracle.}},
author = {{Gharibian, Sevag and Rudolph, Dorian}},
booktitle = {{13th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science (ITCS 2022)}},
number = {{75}},
pages = {{1--27}},
title = {{{On polynomially many queries to NP or QMA oracles}}},
doi = {{10.4230/LIPIcs.ITCS.2022.75}},
volume = {{215}},
year = {{2022}},
}