New affine-invariant codes from lifting
In this work we explore error-correcting codes derived from the "lifting" of "affine-invariant" codes. Affine-invariant codes are simply linear codes whose coordinates are a vector space over a field and which are invariant under affine-transformations of the coordinate space. Lifting takes codes defined over a vector space of small dimension and lifts them to higher dimensions by requiring their restriction to every subspace of the original dimension to be a codeword of the code being lifted. While the operation is of interest on its own, this work focusses on new ranges of parameters that can be obtained by such codes, in the context of local correction and testing. In particular we present four interesting ranges of parameters that can be achieved by such lifts, all of which are new in the context of affine-invariance and some may be new even in general. The main highlight is a construction of high-rate codes with sublinear time decoding. The only prior construction of such codes is due to Kopparty, Saraf and Yekhanin . All our codes are extremely simple, being just lifts of various parity check codes (codes with one symbol of redundancy), and in the final case, the lift of a Reed-Solomon code. We also present a simple connection between certain lifted codes and lower bounds on the size of "Nikodym sets". Roughly, a Nikodym set in Fqm is a set S with the property that every point has a line passing through it which is almost entirely contained in S. While previous lower bounds on Nikodym sets were roughly growing as qm/2m, we use our lifted codes to prove a lower bound of (1 - o(1))qm for fields of constant characteristic.