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I'm currently reading the paper (Leveled) fully homomorphic encryption without bootstrapping , and the following paragraph was near the start:

What is meant by the symbol used? Is it merely to represent polynomial time or something else entirely?

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the edit, will make sure I follow proper posting practices in the future. $\endgroup$ – Masutatsu Jul 18 '13 at 10:30
  • $\begingroup$ I added a link to a page about this article, unfortunately it is only available for pay. $\endgroup$ – Paŭlo Ebermann Jul 20 '13 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ There is another version of the paper (by the same authors) which goes into the same info - Fully Homomorphic Encryption without Bootstrapping $\endgroup$ – mikeazo Jul 20 '13 at 20:43
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As you probably know $f(\lambda)=O(\lambda^4)$ means that $|f|$ asymptotically upper bounded by some constant times $\lambda^4$. The notation $f(\lambda)=\Omega(\lambda^4)$ corresponds to an asymptotic lower-bound.

Now, the $\tilde O$ and $\tilde \Omega$ are closely related notations, where we not only ignore constants but also values which are polynomial in the logarithm of the argument.

So in your quotation, $\tilde\Omega(\lambda^4)$ refers to a function $f(\lambda)$ which is asymptotically lower bounded by something of the form $K \log(\lambda)^c \lambda^4$, where $K$ and $c$ are some non-specified constants. [I am ignoring the absolute value of $f$ from the definition, since it clear in your context that $f$ takes positive values.]

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