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# Complexity of High-Dimensional Identity Testing with Coordinate Conditional Sampling

*Proceedings of Thirty Sixth Conference on Learning Theory*, PMLR 195:1774-1790, 2023.

#### Abstract

We study the identity testing problem for high-dimensional distributions. Given as input an explicit distribution $\mu$, an $\varepsilon>0$, and access to sampling oracle(s) for a hidden distribution $\pi$, the goal in identity testing is to distinguish whether the two distributions $\mu$ and $\pi$ are identical or are at least $\varepsilon$-far apart. When there is only access to full samples from the hidden distribution $\pi$, it is known that exponentially many samples (in the dimension) may be needed for identity testing, and hence previous works have studied identity testing with additional access to various “conditional” sampling oracles. We consider a significantly weaker conditional sampling oracle, which we call the Coordinate Oracle, and provide a computational and statistical characterization of the identity testing problem in this new model.We prove that if an analytic property known as approximate tensorization of entropy holds for an $n$-dimensional visible distribution $\mu$, then there is an efficient identity testing algorithm for any hidden distribution $\pi$ using $\widetilde{O}(n/\varepsilon)$ queries to the Coordinate Oracle. Approximate tensorization of entropy is a pertinent condition as recent works have established it for a large class of high-dimensional distributions. We also prove a computational phase transition: for a well-studied class of $n$-dimensional distributions, specifically sparse antiferromagnetic Ising models over $\{+1,-1\}^n$, we show that in the regime where approximate tensorization of entropy fails, there is no efficient identity testing algorithm unless RP=NP. We complement our results with a matching $\Omega(n/\varepsilon)$ statistical lower bound for the sample complexity of identity testing in the $\coorora$ model.