Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2018/333

Breaking the Circuit-Size Barrier in Secret Sharing

Tianren Liu and Vinod Vaikuntanathan

Abstract: We study secret sharing schemes for general (non-threshold) access structures. A general secret sharing scheme for $n$ parties is associated to a monotone function $\mathsf F:\{0,1\}^n\to\{0,1\}$. In such a scheme, a dealer distributes shares of a secret $s$ among $n$ parties. Any subset of parties $T \subseteq [n]$ should be able to put together their shares and reconstruct the secret $s$ if $\mathsf F(T)=1$, and should have no information about $s$ if $\mathsf F(T)=0$. One of the major long-standing questions in information-theoretic cryptography is to minimize the (total) size of the shares in a secret-sharing scheme for arbitrary monotone functions $\mathsf F$.

There is a large gap between lower and upper bounds for secret sharing. The best known scheme for general $\mathsf F$ has shares of size $2^{n-o(n)}$, but the best lower bound is $\Omega(n^2/\log n)$. Indeed, the exponential share size is a direct result of the fact that in all known secret-sharing schemes, the share size grows with the size of a circuit (or formula, or monotone span program) for $\mathsf F$. Indeed, several researchers have suggested the existence of a {\em representation size barrier} which implies that the right answer is closer to the upper bound, namely, $2^{n-o(n)}$.

In this work, we overcome this barrier by constructing a secret sharing scheme for any access structure with shares of size $2^{0.994n}$ and a linear secret sharing scheme for any access structure with shares of size $2^{0.999n}$. As a contribution of independent interest, we also construct a secret sharing scheme with shares of size $2^{\tilde{O}(\sqrt{n})}$ for $2^{{n\choose n/2}}$ monotone access structures, out of a total of $2^{{n\choose n/2}\cdot (1+O(\log n/n))}$ of them. Our construction builds on recent works that construct better protocols for the conditional disclosure of secrets (CDS) problem.

Category / Keywords: secret sharing

Original Publication (in the same form): 50th Annual ACM SIGACT Symposium on the Theory of Computing

Date: received 4 Apr 2018

Contact author: liutr at mit edu

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Version: 20180411:201143 (All versions of this report)

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