BARC talk by Kuan Yang - CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19

Thursday, 19 March 2020, Kuan Yang, fourth year PhD student at the University of Oxford, will give a talk on "Counting solutions to random CNF formulas".

Counting solutions to random CNF formulas

We give the first efficient algorithm to approximately count the number of solutions in the random $k$-SAT model when the density of the formula scales exponentially with $k$. The best previous counting algorithm was due to Montanari and Shah and was based on the correlation decay method, which works up to densities $(1+o_k(1))2\logk / k$, the Gibbs uniqueness threshold for the model. Instead, our algorithm harnesses a recent technique by Moitra to work for random formulas. The main challenge in our setting is to account for the presence of high-degree variables whose marginal distributions are hard to control and which cause significant correlations within the formula.

Kuan Yang is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science at University of Oxford, supervised by Prof. Leslie Ann Goldberg and Prof. Andreas Galanis. Before coming to Oxford, he received his bachelor degree in Computer Science from Zhiyuan College at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China.
Kuan Yang is interested in many aspects of theoretical computer science, probability and combinatorics. Currently he mainly works on approximate counting and sampling.