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[Solved]: Existence of NP problems with complexity intermediate between P and NP-hard

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Problem Detail: 

Assuming P!=NP, there is a result that there are decision problems intermediate between P and NP-complete. That is, the class NP cannot be a union of two disjoint subsets: P and NP-complete.

I could never quite understand the proof of the above result. The proof I saw in a textbook was starting with the assumption that one can enumerate all P and NP-hard problems, and then proceeding with a construction of a function that didn't fit in either. However, this construction seemed a bit fishy to me; in particular, the assumption that one can start with enumerated set of problems in a particular class, the NP.

Could you refer me to a clear self-contained proof of the statement in the 1st paragraph? More generally, what would be a good reference for proofs of such results?

Asked By : Michael

Answered By : rphv

The result you're describing is called 'Ladner's Theorem.' The Wikipedia article on 'NP-Intermediate' is probably a good place to start - you can find references to Ladner's original paper there.

There's also an extensive list of such problems on the cstheory Stackexchange.

For a couple of proofs of Ladner's Theorem, check out this note adapted from Downy & Fortnow's paper 'Uniformly Hard Languages'.

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Question Source : http://cs.stackexchange.com/questions/19543

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