Distributed (Correlation) Samplers: A Study on the Round Complexity of Cryptographic Sampling Protocols

Research output: Book/anthology/dissertation/reportPh.D. thesis


This thesis presents a theoretical analysis of round complexity in cryptographic sampling protocols. We study the following problem: how can n participants agree on a random sample from the distribution D without anybody knowing any secret information hidden in the chosen sample? How many rounds of interactions are needed in any such protocol? Which assumptions are required?
These questions are particularly interesting in the context of multiparty computation (MPC) due to the extensive reliance (often unavoidable) on trusted setups such as common reference strings (CRSs). These are samples from known distributions made public before the beginning of the protocol. Security proofs often require CRSs to hide trapdoors. However, if these trapdoors get leaked, security is often fatally compromised. Since trusted setups are inherently single points of failure, it is desirable to generate CRSs in a distributed fashion using MPC protocols: as long as at least one of the participants remains honest, any trapdoor hidden
in the CRS is guaranteed to remain secret.
Previous research (Garg et al. TCC ’14) had shown that, in the setting of semi-honest security with dishonest majority, any functionality can be implemented in two rounds. In this thesis, we show that, using strong primitives such as indistinguishability obfuscation (iO), it is possible to build one-round sampling protocols. We call these constructions distributed samplers. We show that these protocols can be used to securely generate large amounts of correlated randomness with sublinear communication in a single round.
We study different ways to upgrade our semi-honest construction to active security. First, we try to circumvent Cleve’s impossibility (STOC ’86) by allowing the adversary limited influence on the output of the protocol: we consider the functionality F_D^{Active} that proposes a polynomial number of different outputs to the adversary, letting it choose its favourite one (F_D^{Active} can still be used to generate CRSs). We show how to implement F_D^{Active} in one round by relying on a programmable random oracle.
In subsequent work, we show that random oracles are necessary: any actively secure distributed samplers implementing F_D^{Active} needs to rely on a CRS that is non-reusable, as large as a sample from D and structured (unless D is an obliviously samplable distribution). This suggests that, without random oracles, simulation-based, actively secure distributed samplers provide no advantage over trusted dealers.
We get around this impossibility by proposing new game-based definitions for actively secure distributed samplers. Hardness-preserving distributed samplers allow the removal of CRSs from MPC protocols preserving at the same time the hardness of search problems. Indistinguishability-preserving distributed samplers, on the other hand, substitute the trusted setup while preserving the functionality, however, the protocol needs to satisfy particular conditions. We show how to build distributed samplers with the defined properties by relying on extremely lossy functions, the subexponential security of iO and other primitives.
Next, in the context of active security with dishonest majority, we study the feasibility of protocols producing unbiased samples with guaranteed output: to circumvent Cleve's impossibility, we assume the existence of an auxiliary functionality that, upon invocation, publishes a random , short k-bit string. We first study the question when D is the uniform distribution over {0, 1}^m where m>k. This problem is called coin tossing extension (CTE) (Bellare et al. PODC '96). We show the existence of O(1)-round CTE constructions producing an arbitrarily large quantity of unbiased randomness based on various assumptions (OWFs, DDH, QR and DCR, class groups). Our most important result is an LWE-based, one-round, UC-secure, n-party CTE protocol withstanding adaptive corruption. The protocol can be viewed as an explainable randomness extractor. By relying on distributed samplers and the auxiliary functionality, we build one-round unbiased sampling protocols for any distribution. Finally, we present a lower bound for statistically secure CTE with black-box simulation: an R-round protocol can generate at most k+R·O(log λ) bits of randomness.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAarhus University
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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