Paper 2012/319

Bounds on the Threshold Gap in Secret Sharing and its Applications

Ignacio Cascudo, Ronald Cramer, and Chaoping Xing


We consider the class of secret sharing schemes where there is no a priori bound on the number of players $n$ but where each of the $n$ share-spaces has fixed cardinality~$q$. We show two fundamental lower bounds on the {\em threshold gap} of such schemes. The threshold gap $g$ is defined as $r-t$, where $r$ is minimal and $t$ is maximal such that the following holds: for a secret with arbitrary a priori distribution, each $r$-subset of players can reconstruct this secret from their joint shares without error ($r$-reconstruction) and the information gain about the secret is nil for each $t$-subset of players jointly ($t$-privacy). Our first bound, which is completely general, implies that if $1\leq t<r\leq n$, then $g \geq \frac{n-t+1}{q}$ independently of the cardinality of the secret-space. Our second bound pertains to $\FF_q$-linear schemes with secret-space $\Fq^k$ ($k\geq 2$). It improves the first bound when $k$ is large enough. Concretely, it implies that $g\geq\frac{n-t+1}{q}+f(q,k,t,n)$, for some function $f$ that is strictly positive when $k$ is large enough. Moreover, also in the $\FF_q$-linear case, bounds on the threshold gap {\em independent} of $t$ or $r$ are obtained by additionally employing a dualization argument. As an application of our results, we answer an open question about the asymptotics of {\em arithmetic secret sharing schemes} and prove that the asymptotic optimal corruption tolerance rate is strictly smaller than~1.

Note: Several changes made to incorporate review suggestions, including the change of the title.

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Publication info
Published elsewhere. Minor revision. IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, vol.59, no.9, pp.5600-5612, Sept. 2013
Secret sharingthreshold gaperror correcting codesNorse boundsGriesmer boundarithmetic secret sharing
Contact author(s)
i cascudo @ cwi nl
2013-09-10: last of 3 revisions
2012-06-05: received
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      author = {Ignacio Cascudo and Ronald Cramer and Chaoping Xing},
      title = {Bounds on the Threshold Gap in Secret Sharing and its Applications},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2012/319},
      year = {2012},
      doi = {10.1109/TIT.2013.2264504},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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