Paper 2022/1557

Less is more: refinement proofs for probabilistic proofs

Kunming Jiang, New York University, Carnegie Mellon University
Devora Chait-Roth, New York University
Zachary DeStefano, NYU
Michael Walfish, NYU
Thomas Wies, NYU

There has been intense interest over the last decade in implementations of _probabilistic proofs_ (IPs, SNARKs, PCPs, and so on): protocols in which an untrusted party proves to a verifier that a given computation was executed properly, possibly in zero knowledge. Nevertheless, implementations still do not scale beyond small computations. A central source of overhead is the _front-end_: translating from the abstract computation to a set of equivalent arithmetic constraints. This paper introduces a general-purpose framework, called Distiller, in which a user translates to constraints not the original computation but an abstracted _specification_ of it. Distiller is the first in this area to perform such transformations in a way that is provably safe. Furthermore, by taking the idea of "encode a check in the constraints" to its literal logical extreme, Distiller exposes many new opportunities for constraint reduction, resulting in cost reductions for benchmark computations of 1.3–50$\times$, and in some cases, better asymptotics.

Available format(s)
Publication info
probabilistic proofs zero knowledge outsourced computation refinement proofs formal methods widgets gadgets R1CS
Contact author(s)
kunmingj @ andrew cmu edu
dc4451 @ nyu edu
zd2131 @ nyu edu
mwalfish @ cs nyu edu
wies @ cs nyu edu
2022-11-10: approved
2022-11-09: received
See all versions
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Kunming Jiang and Devora Chait-Roth and Zachary DeStefano and Michael Walfish and Thomas Wies},
      title = {Less is more: refinement proofs for probabilistic proofs},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2022/1557},
      year = {2022},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
Note: In order to protect the privacy of readers, does not use cookies or embedded third party content.