Journal of the ACM (JACM)

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Statistical Algorithms and a Lower Bound for Detecting Planted Cliques

We introduce a framework for proving lower bounds on computational problems over distributions against algorithms that can be implemented using access... (more)

Analysis of a Classical Matrix Preconditioning Algorithm

We study a classical iterative algorithm for balancing matrices in the L∞ norm via a scaling transformation. This algorithm, which goes back to... (more)

Arithmetic Cryptography

We study the possibility of computing cryptographic primitives in a fully black-box arithmetic model over a finite field F. In this model, the input to a cryptographic primitive (e.g., encryption scheme) is given as a sequence of field elements, the honest parties are implemented by arithmetic circuits that make only a black-box use of the... (more)

On the Switch Markov Chain for Perfect Matchings

We study a simple Markov chain, the switch chain, on the set of all perfect matchings in a bipartite graph. This Markov chain was proposed by Diaconis, Graham and Holmes as a possible approach to a sampling problem arising in Statistics. We ask: for which hereditary classes of graphs is the Markov chain ergodic and for which is it rapidly mixing?... (more)

Monadic Decomposition

Monadic predicates play a prominent role in many decidable cases, including decision procedures for symbolic automata. We are here interested in discovering whether a formula can be rewritten into a Boolean combination of monadic predicates. Our setting is quantifier-free formulas whose satisfiability is decidable, such as linear arithmetic. Here... (more)

Verifying Increasingly Expressive Temporal Logics for Infinite-State Systems

Temporal logic is a formal system for specifying and reasoning about propositions qualified in terms of time. It offers a unified approach to program... (more)


Important Note on P/NP: Some submissions purport to solve a long-standing open problem in complexity theory, such as the P/NP problem. Many of these turn out to be mistaken, and such submissions tax JACM volunteer editors and reviewers. JACM remains open to the possibility of eventual resolution of P/NP and related questions, and continues to welcome submissions on the subject. However, to mitigate the burden of repeated resubmissions due to incremental corrections of errors identified during editorial review, no author may submit more than one such paper to JACM, ACM Trans. on Algorithms, or ACM Trans. on Computation in any 24-month period, except by invitation of the Editor-in-Chief. This applies to resubmissions of previously rejected manuscripts. Please consider this policy before submitting a such a paper.

About JACM

The Journal of the ACM (JACM) provides coverage of the most significant work on principles of computer science, broadly construed. The scope of research we cover encompasses contributions of lasting value to any area of computer science. To be accepted, a paper must be judged to be truly outstanding in its field.  JACM is interested  in work in core computer science and at the boundaries, both the boundaries of subdisciplines of computer science and the boundaries between computer science and other fields.

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Forthcoming Articles
The freezing threshold for k-colourings of a random graph

We determine the exact value of the freezing threshold, r_k, for k-colourings of a random graph when k g 14. We prove that for random graphs with density above r_k, almost every colouring is such that a linear number of vertices are frozen, meaning that their colours cannot be changed by a sequence of alterations whereby we change the colours of o(n) vertices at a time, always obtaining another proper colouring. When the density is below r_k, then almost every colouring is such that every vertex can be changed by a sequence of alterations where we change O(log n) vertices at a time. Frozen vertices are a key part of the clustering phenomena discovered using methods from statistical physics. The value of the freezing threshold was previously determined by the non-rigorous cavity method.

Invited Articles Foreword for 64:2

Invited Article Foreword for 64.3

Bounds on monotone switching networks for directed connectivity

We separate monotone analogues of L and NL by proving that any monotone switching network solving directed connectivity on a set V(G) of n vertices must have size at least n&(\og n)

Constant-rate coding for multiparty interactive communication is impossible

We study coding schemes for multiparty interactive communication over synchronous networks that suffer from stochastic noise, where each bit is independently flipped with probability µ. We analyze the minimal overhead that must be added by the coding scheme in order to succeed in performing the computation despite the noise. Our main result is a lower bound on the communication of any noise-resilient protocol over a synchronous star network with n-parties (where all parties communicate in every round). Specifically, we show a task that can be solved by communicating T bits over the noise-free network, but for which any protocol with success probability of 1  o(1) must communicate at least ©(T log n / log log n ) bits when the channels are noisy. By a 1994 result of Rajagopalan and Schulman, the slowdown we prove is the highest one can obtain on any topology, up to a log log n factor. We complete our lower bound with a matching coding scheme that achieves the same overhead; thus, the capacity of (synchronous) star networks is ˜(log log n / log n). Our bounds prove that, despite several previous coding schemes with rate ©(1) for certain topologies, no coding scheme with constant rate ©(1) exists for arbitrary n-party noisy networks.

Source Sets: A Foundation for Optimal Dynamic Partial Order Reduction

Stateless model checking is a powerful method for program verification, which however suffers from an exponential growth in the number of explored executions. A successful technique for reducing this number, while still maintaining complete coverage, is Dynamic Partial Order Reduction (DPOR), an algorithm originally introduced by Flanagan and Godefroid in 2005 and since then not only used as a point of reference but also extended by various researchers. In this article, we present a new DPOR algorithm, which is the first to be provably optimal in that it always explores the minimal number of executions. It is based on a novel class of sets, called source sets, which replace the role of persistent sets in previous algorithms. We begin by showing how to modify the original DPOR algorithm to work with source sets, resulting in an efficient and simple to implement algorithm, called source-DPOR. Subsequently, we enhance this algorithm with a novel mechanism, called wakeup trees, that allows the resulting algorithm, called optimal-DPOR, to achieve optimality. Both algorithms are then extended to computational models where processes may disable each other, e.g., via locks. Finally, we discuss trade-offs of the source- and optimal-DPOR algorithm and present programs that illustrate significant time and space performance differences between them. We have implemented both algorithms in a publicly available stateless model checking tool for Erlang programs. Experiments show that source sets significantly increase the performance of stateless model checking compared to using the original DPOR algorithm and that wakeup trees incur only a small overhead in both time and space in practice.

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