Lane A. Hemaspaandra (Dept. of Computer Science, University of Rochester, USA)
Zhigen Jiang (Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China)
Joerg Rothe (Institut fuer Informatik, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany)
Osamu Watanabe (Dept. of Computer Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan)
Abstract: We introduce a generalization of Selman s P-selectivity that yields a more flexible notion of selectivity, called (polynomial-time) multi-selectivity, in which the selector is allowed to operate on multiple input strings. Since our introduction of this class, it has been used [HJRW] to prove the first known (and optimal) lower bounds for generalized selectivity-like classes in terms of EL2 , the second level of the extended low hierarchy. We study the resulting selectivity hierarchy, denoted by SH, which we prove does not collapse. In particular, we study the internal structure and the properties of SH and completely establish, in terms of incomparability and strict inclusion, the relations between our generalized selectivity classes and Ogihara s P-mc (polynomial-time membership-comparable) classes. Although SH is a strictly increasing infinite hierarchy, we show that the core results that hold for the P-selective sets and that prove them structurally simple also hold for SH. In particular, all sets in SH have small circuits, the NP sets in SH are in Low2 , the second level of the low hierarchy within NP, and SAT cannot be in SH unless P = NP. Finally, it is known that the P-selective sets are not closed under union or intersection. We provide an extended selectivity hierarchy that is based on SH and that is large enough to capture those closures of the P-selective sets, and yet, in contrast with the P-mc classes, is refined enough to distinguish them.