Paper 2024/334

The Impact of Reversibility on Parallel Pebbling

Jeremiah Blocki, Purdue University West Lafayette
Blake Holman, Purdue University West Lafayette
Seunghoon Lee, Purdue University West Lafayette

The (parallel) classical black pebbling game is a helpful abstraction which allows us to analyze the resources (time, space, space-time, cumulative space) necessary to evaluate a function $f$ with a static data-dependency graph $G$ on a (parallel) computer. In particular, the parallel black pebbling game has been used as a tool to quantify the (in)security of Data-Independent Memory-Hard Functions (iMHFs). Recently Blocki et al. (TCC 2022) introduced the parallel reversible pebbling game as a tool to analyze resource requirements when we additionally require that computation is reversible. Intuitively, the parallel reversible pebbling game extends the classical parallel black pebbling game by imposing restrictions on when pebbles can be removed. By contrast, the classical black pebbling game imposes no restrictions on when pebbles can be removed to free up space. One of the primary motivations of the parallel reversible pebbling game is to provide a tool to analyze the full cost of quantum preimage attacks against an iMHF. However, while there is an extensive line of work analyzing pebbling complexity in the (parallel) black pebbling game, comparatively little is known about the parallel reversible pebbling game. Our first result is a lower bound of $\Omega\left(N^{1+1/\sqrt{\log N}} \right)$ on the reversible cumulative pebbling cost for a line graph on $N$ nodes. This yields a separation between classical and reversible pebbling costs demonstrating that the reversibility constraint can increase cumulative pebbling costs (and space-time costs) by a multiplicative factor of $\Omega\left(N^{1/\sqrt{\log N}} \right)$ --- the classical pebbling cost (space-time or cumulative) for a line graph is just $\mathcal{O}(N)$. On the positive side, we prove that any classical parallel pebbling can be transformed into a reversible pebbling strategy whilst increasing space-time (resp. cumulative memory) costs by a multiplicative factor of at most $\mathcal{O}\left(N^{2/\sqrt{\log N}}\right)$ (resp. $\mathcal{O}\left(N^{\mathcal{O}(1)/\sqrt[4]{\log N}}\right)$). We also analyze the impact of the reversibility constraint on the cumulative pebbling cost of depth-robust and depth-reducible DAGs exploiting reversibility to improve constant factors in a prior lower bound of Alwen et al. (EUROCRYPT 2017). For depth-reducible DAGs we show that the state-of-the-art recursive pebbling techniques of Alwen et al. (EUROCRYPT 2017) can be converted into a recursive reversible pebbling attack without any asymptotic increases in pebbling costs. Finally, we extend a result of Blocki et al. (ITCS 2020) to show that it is Unique Games hard to approximate the reversible cumulative pebbling cost of a DAG $G$ to within any constant factor.

Available format(s)
Attacks and cryptanalysis
Publication info
Parallel Reversible PebblingData-Independent Memory-Hard FunctionQuantum Preimage Attacks
Contact author(s)
jblocki @ purdue edu
holman14 @ purdue edu
lee2856 @ purdue edu
2024-02-27: approved
2024-02-26: received
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Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Jeremiah Blocki and Blake Holman and Seunghoon Lee},
      title = {The Impact of Reversibility on Parallel Pebbling},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2024/334},
      year = {2024},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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