Im trying to understand the following question. Suppose $h,f:\{-1,1\}^n\rightarrow \{-1,1\}$ satisfy $\sum_x h(x)f(x)\leq 0.5$, then one can rewrite this as $\textsf{Pr}_x [h(x)=f(x)]\leq 3/4$. Can we use this statement to show: there exists $i\in [n]$ such that $\sum_i h(x)f(x)h(x^i)f(x^i)$ is small (where small here is unquantified, but im guessing it depends on $0.5$)? Also $x^i$ means the $i$th bit of $x$ is flipped.

In order to understand the above (either in proving its true or false), I started looking at $\sum_w h(w)f(w)\textbf{E}_i [h(w^i)f(w^i)]$ and seeing if it could be shown to be small as well. This requires one to understand the following: suppose $\textsf{Pr}_x [h(x)=f(x)]\leq 3/4$, then can we use that to say anything about the fraction of $w$s for which $h(w)=f(w)$ and $h(w^i)\neq f(w^i)$? Even this is unclear to me.

Any thoughts/counterexamples/references in this direction would be appreciated.

  • $\begingroup$ When you write $\sum_i$, do you mean $\sum_x \sum_i$? Do you mean there exists $x$ for which $\sum_i$ is small? Something else? $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    Nov 17, 2022 at 0:28
  • $\begingroup$ What's the motivation for the question, or the context in which you encountered it? $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    Nov 17, 2022 at 0:33

1 Answer 1


No. Suppose $h$ is the parity function and $f(x)=-h(x)$. Then $\sum_x h(x) f(x) = -2^n \le 0.5$, but $\sum_i h(x) f(x) h(x^i) f(x^i) = n$ (which is as large as it can get) for all $x$.


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