Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2015/243

Reliable Message Transmission under Partial Knowledge and General Adversaries

Aris Pagourtzis and Giorgos Panagiotakos and Dimitris Sakavalas

Abstract: A fundamental communication primitive in distributed computing is Reliable Message Transmission (RMT), which refers to the task of correctly sending a message from a party to another, despite the presence of Byzantine corruptions. In this work we address the problem in the general adversary model of Hirt and Maurer [6], which subsumes earlier models such as the global or local threshold adversaries. Regarding the topology knowledge, we employ the recently introduced Partial Knowledge Model [13], which encompasses both the full knowledge and the ad hoc model; the latter assumes knowledge of the local neighborhood only.

Our main contributions are: (a) A necessary and sufficient condition for achieving RMT in the partial knowledge model with a general adversary, yielding a characterization of the minimal level of knowledge which renders the problem solvable in a certain network. In order to show the sufficiency of the condition, we propose the RMT-Partial Knowledge Algorithm (RMT-PKA), an algorithm that solves RMT whenever the condition is met. This implies that RMT-PKA achieves reliable message transmission in every instance where this is possible, therefore it is a unique algorithm [14]. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first unique protocol for RMT against general adversaries in the partial knowledge model. (b) A study of efficiency in the case of the ad hoc network model: we show that either the Z-CPA protocol [13] is fully polynomial or no unique fully polynomial protocol for RMT exists, thus introducing a new notion of uniqueness with respect to efficiency that we call poly-time uniqueness.

To obtain our results we introduce, among others, a joint view operation on adversary structures, allowing participants to combine their local knowledge in a sound manner, a new notion of separator (RMT-cut), appropriate for RMT in unreliable networks, and a self-reducibility property of the RMT problem, which we show by means of a protocol composition. The latter plays a crucial role in proving the poly-time uniqueness of Z-CPA.

Category / Keywords: reliable message transmission; byzantine adversary; general adversary; partial knowledge; ad hoc model

Date: received 14 Mar 2015, last revised 23 May 2016

Contact author: sakaval at corelab ntua gr

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Version: 20160523:155207 (All versions of this report)

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