On Computational Shortcuts for Information-Theoretic PIR

Hong MMH, Ishai Y, Kolobov VI, Lai RWF (2020)

Publication Type: Conference contribution, Original article

Publication year: 2020

Conference Proceedings Title: TCC 2020

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-64375-1_18


Information-theoretic private information retrieval (PIR) schemes have attractive concrete efficiency features. However, in the standard PIR model, the computational complexity of the servers must scale linearly with the database size.

We study the possibility of bypassing this limitation in the case where the database is a truth table of a ``simple'' function, such as a union of (multi-dimensional) intervals or convex shapes, a decision tree, or a DNF formula. This question is motivated by the goal of obtaining lightweight homomorphic secret sharing (HSS) schemes and secure multiparty computation (MPC) protocols for the corresponding families. 

We obtain both positive and negative results. For ``first-generation'' PIR schemes based on Reed-Muller codes, we obtain computational shortcuts for the above function families, with the exception of DNF formulas for which we show a (conditional) hardness result. For ``third-generation'' PIR schemes based on matching vectors, we obtain stronger hardness results that apply to all of the above families.
Our positive results yield new information-theoretic HSS schemes and MPC protocols with attractive efficiency features for simple but useful function families. Our negative results establish new connections between information-theoretic cryptography and fine-grained complexity.

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Hong, M.M.-H., Ishai, Y., Kolobov, V.I., & Lai, R.W.F. (2020). On Computational Shortcuts for Information-Theoretic PIR. In TCC 2020.


Hong, Matthew Man-Hou, et al. "On Computational Shortcuts for Information-Theoretic PIR." Proceedings of the TCC 2020 2020.

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