Can a problem be both NP-Hard and CoNP?

Can a problem be both NP and CoNP-Hard?

  • $\begingroup$ no, unless P = NP $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Oct 6 '13 at 3:06
  • $\begingroup$ I do not think so. NP=CoNP is a first level complexity hierarchy issue. What you are stating is second level. Inferring something at the second level from the first level does not seem logical. $\endgroup$ – 1.. Oct 6 '13 at 3:09
  • $\begingroup$ Wouldn't NP = coNP do it? If NP = coNP, than any NP-complete problems is both NP-hard and in coNP. And as far as I know, NP = coNP does not imply P = NP. $\endgroup$ – Peter Shor Oct 6 '13 at 3:12
  • $\begingroup$ @PeterShor that is what I was explaining here. I am just seeing the possibility what if the problem is in CoNP and NP-hard but not in NP? Do we have a choice here like that? That is the question. $\endgroup$ – 1.. Oct 6 '13 at 3:15

There is a problem which is both NP-hard and in coNP if and only if NP = coNP.

If NP = coNP, than NP-complete problems (like 3-SAT) are both NP-hard and in coNP.

On the other hand, if any NP-hard problem is in coNP, then all problems in NP are reducible to it, so all problems in NP are in coNP so NP ⊆ coNP. Now, since the complement of NP is coNP, and vice versa, we also have coNP ⊆ NP. This means NP = coNP.

The question of whether NP = coNP is open, but most theoretical computer scientists do not think it is very likely.

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  • $\begingroup$ ah ic the problem does not have to be in NP (got it) and thankyou. $\endgroup$ – 1.. Oct 6 '13 at 3:17

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