Fractional Pebbling and Thrifty Branching Programs

Mark Braverman, Stephen Cook, Pierre McKenzie, Rahul Santhanam & Dustin Wehr
We study the branching program complexity of the {\em tree evaluation problem}, introduced in \cite{BrCoMcSaWe09} as a candidate for separating \nl\ from\logcfl. The input to the problem is a rooted, balanced $d$-ary tree of height$h$, whose internal nodes are labelled with $d$-ary functions on$[k]=\{1,\ldots,k\}$, and whose leaves are labelled with elements of $[k]$.Each node obtains a value in $[k]$ equal to its $d$-ary function applied to the values of its $d$ children. The output is...