Commutative Queries


We consider polynomial-time Turing machines that have access to two oracles and investigate when the order of oracle queries is significant. The oracles used here are complete languages for the Polynomial Hierarchy (PH). We prove that, for solving decision problems, the order of oracle queries does not matter. This improves upon the previous result of Hemaspaandra, Hemaspaandra and Hempel, who showed that the order of the queries does not matter if the base machine asks only one query to each oracle. On the other hand, we prove that, for computing functions, the order of oracle queries does matter, unless PH collapses.
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2007 20:20:10 EDT by Richard Chang