A new notion of commutativity for the algorithmic Lovasz Local Lemma

David G. Harris, Fotis Iliopoulos and Vladimir Kolmogorov.

In Approximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization (RANDOM), August 2021.


The Lovasz Local Lemma (LLL) is a powerful tool in probabilistic combinatorics which can be used to establish the existence of objects that satisfy certain properties. The breakthrough paper of Moser and Tardos and follow-up works revealed that the LLL has intimate connections with a class of stochastic local search algorithms for finding such desirable objects. In particular, it can be seen as a sufficient condition for this type of algorithms to converge fast.

Besides conditions for convergence, there are other natural questions one may ask of these algorithms. For instance, "are they parallelizable?", "how many solutions can they output?", "what is the expected "weight" of a solution?", etc. These questions and more have been answered for a class of LLL-inspired algorithms called commutative. In this paper we introduce a new, very natural and more general notion of commutativity (essentially matrix commutativity) which allows us to show a number of new refined properties of LLL-inspired local search algorithms with significantly simpler proofs.