Paper 2020/448

Partial Secret Sharing Schemes

Amir Jafari
Shahram Khazaei

The information ratio of an access structure is an important parameter for quantifying the efficiency of the best secret sharing scheme (SSS) realizing it. The most common security notion is perfect security. The following relaxations, in increasing level of security, have been presented in the literature: quasi-perfect, almost-perfect and statistical. Understanding the power of relaxing the correctness and privacy requirements in the efficiency of SSSs is a long-standing open problem. In this article, we introduce and study an extremely relaxed security notion, called partial security, for which it is only required that any qualified set gains strictly more information about the secret than any unqualified one. We refer to this gap as the nominal capacity. We quantify the efficiency of such schemes using a parameter called partial information ratio. It is defined to be the same as the (standard) information ratio, except that we divide the largest share entropy by nominal capacity instead of the secret entropy. Despite this modification, partial security turns out weaker than the weakest mentioned non-perfect security notion, i.e., quasi-perfect security. We present three main results in this paper. First, we prove that partial and perfect information ratios coincide for the class of linear SSSs. Consequently, for this class, information ratio is invariant with respect to all security notions. Second, by viewing a partial SSS as a wiretap channel, we prove that for the general (i.e., non-linear) class of SSSs, partial and statistical information ratios are equal. Consequently, for this class, information ratio is invariant with respect to all non-perfect security notions. Third, we show that partial and almost-perfect information ratios do not coincide for the class of mixed-linear schemes (i.e., schemes constructed by combining linear schemes with different underlying finite fields). Our first result strengthens the previous decomposition theorems for constructing perfect linear schemes. Our second result leads to a very strong decomposition theorem for constructing general (i.e., non-linear) statistical schemes. Our third result provides a rare example of the effect of imperfection on the efficiency of SSSs for a certain class of schemes.

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Publication info
Information theoretic cryptography Secret sharing Perfect and non-perfect security Wiretap channel Decomposition methods
Contact author(s)
shahram khazaei @ gmail com
2022-07-24: revised
2020-04-20: received
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      author = {Amir Jafari and Shahram Khazaei},
      title = {Partial Secret Sharing Schemes},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2020/448},
      year = {2020},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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