Locality-Preserving Hashing for Shifts with Connections to Cryptography

by   Elette Boyle, et al.

Can we sense our location in an unfamiliar environment by taking a sublinear-size sample of our surroundings? Can we efficiently encrypt a message that only someone physically close to us can decrypt? To solve this kind of problems, we introduce and study a new type of hash functions for finding shifts in sublinear time. A function h:{0,1}^n→ℤ_n is a (d,δ) locality-preserving hash function for shifts (LPHS) if: (1) h can be computed by (adaptively) querying d bits of its input, and (2) [ h(x) ≠ h(x ≪ 1) + 1 ] ≤δ, where x is random and ≪ 1 denotes a cyclic shift by one bit to the left. We make the following contributions. * Near-optimal LPHS via Distributed Discrete Log: We establish a general two-way connection between LPHS and algorithms for distributed discrete logarithm in the generic group model. Using such an algorithm of Dinur et al. (Crypto 2018), we get LPHS with near-optimal error of δ=Õ(1/d^2). This gives an unusual example for the usefulness of group-based cryptography in a post-quantum world. We extend the positive result to non-cyclic and worst-case variants of LPHS. * Multidimensional LPHS: We obtain positive and negative results for a multidimensional extension of LPHS, making progress towards an optimal 2-dimensional LPHS. * Applications: We demonstrate the usefulness of LPHS by presenting cryptographic and algorithmic applications. In particular, we apply multidimensional LPHS to obtain an efficient "packed" implementation of homomorphic secret sharing and a sublinear-time implementation of location-sensitive encryption whose decryption requires a significantly overlapping view.


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