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@inproceedings{BGMMAV23,
title={On Approximating Total Variation Distance},
author={ Bhattacharyya, Arnab and
Gayen, Sutanu and
Meel, Kuldeep S and
Myrisiotis, Dimitrios and
A., Pavan and
Vinodchandran, N. V.}
abstract={Total variation distance (TV distance) is a fundamental notion of distance between probability distributions. In this work, we introduce and study the problem of computing the TV distance of two product distributions over the domain {0,1}^n. In particular, we establish the following results.
1. The problem of exactly computing the TV distance of two product distributions is #P-complete. This is in stark contrast with other distance measures such as KL, Chi-square, and Hellinger which tensorize over the marginals leading to efficient algorithms.
2. There is a fully polynomial-time deterministic approximation scheme (FPTAS) for computing the TV distance of two product distributions P and Q where Q is the uniform distribution. This result is extended to the case where Q has a constant number of distinct marginals. In contrast, we show that when P and Q are Bayes net distributions the relative approximation of their TV distance is NP-hard.}
publication_type={conference},
booktitle=IJCAI,
year={2023},
month=jul,
bib2html_rescat={Distribution Testing},
bib2html_pubtype={Refereed Conference},
bib2html_dl_pdf={../Papers/ijcai23-bggmpv.pdf},
}