Cryptography, Security, and Privacy (CrySP)

This speaker series is made possible by an anonymous charitable donation in memory of cypherpunks and privacy advocates Len Sassaman, Hugh Daniel, Hal Finney, and Caspar Bowden.

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Average-Case Fine-Grained Hardness, and What To Do With It

Prashant Nalini Vasudevan, MIT

[Download (MP4)] [View on Youtube]

June 16, 2017 10:30am, in DC 2568

Abstract

We present functions that are hard to compute on average for algorithms running in some fixed polynomial time, assuming widely-conjectured worst-case hardness of certain problems from the study of fine-grained complexity.

We discuss the relevance of such average-case hardness to cryptography and present, as an illustration, an outline of a proof-of-work protocol constructed based on the hardness and certain structural properties of our functions.

Joint work with Marshall Ball, Alon Rosen and Manuel Sabin.

Bio

Prashant is a PhD student at MIT; where his advisor is Vinod Vaikuntanathan. He is interested broadly in complexity theory and cryptography, and narrowly in the understanding the fundamentals of complexity-based cryptography, which involves questions like what sorts of functions are useful when they are hard and what generic assumptions are necessary or sufficient to construct various cryptographic objects.