Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2014/374

Optimal Contracts for Outsourced Computation

Viet Pham and MHR. Khouzani and Carlos Cid

Abstract: While expensive cryptographically verifiable computation aims at defeating malicious agents, many civil purposes of outsourced computation tolerate a weaker notion of security, i.e., ``lazy-but-honest'' contractors. Targeting this type of agents, we develop optimal contracts for outsourcing of computational tasks via appropriate use of rewards, punishments, auditing rate, and ``redundancy''. Our contracts provably minimize the expense of the outsourcer (principal) while guaranteeing correct computation. Furthermore, we incorporate practical restrictions of the maximum enforceable fine, limited and/or costly auditing, and bounded budget of the outsourcer. By examining the optimal contracts, we provide insights on how resources should be utilized when auditing capacity and enforceability are limited. Finally, we present a light-weight cryptographic implementation of the contracts and discuss a comparison across different implementations of auditing in outsourced computation.

Category / Keywords: applications / game theory, outsourced computation, contract design

Date: received 27 May 2014

Contact author: viet pham 2010 at live rhul ac uk

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Version: 20140527:102247 (All versions of this report)

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