Central in the study of obfuscation-based PPAD hardness is the sink-of-verifiable-line (SVL) problem, an intermediate step in constructing instances of the PPAD-complete problem source-or-sink. Within the framework of black-box reductions we prove the following results:
-- Average-case PPAD hardness (and even SVL hardness) does not imply any form of cryptographic hardness (not even one-way functions). Moreover, even when assuming the existence of one-way functions, average-case PPAD hardness (and, again, even SVL hardness) does not imply any public-key primitive. Thus, strong cryptographic assumptions (such as obfuscation-related ones) are not essential for average-case PPAD hardness.
-- Average-case SVL hardness cannot be based either on standard cryptographic assumptions or on average-case PPAD hardness. In particular, average-case SVL hardness is not essential for average-case PPAD hardness.
-- Any attempt for basing the average-case hardness of the PPAD-complete problem source-or-sink on standard cryptographic assumptions must result in instances with a nearly-exponential number of solutions. This stands in striking contrast to the obfuscation-based approach, which results in instances having a unique solution.
Taken together, our results imply that it may still be possible to base average-case PPAD hardness on standard cryptographic assumptions, but any black-box attempt must significantly deviate from the obfuscation-based approach: It cannot go through the SVL problem, and it must result in source-or-sink instances with a nearly-exponential number of solutions.Category / Keywords: Date: received 14 Apr 2016, last revised 2 Nov 2016 Contact author: segev at cs huji ac il Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation Version: 20161102:183331 (All versions of this report) Short URL: ia.cr/2016/375 Discussion forum: Show discussion | Start new discussion