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Designing Efficient Zero-Knowledge Proofs in the Ideal Linear Commitment Model

Bootle, Jonathan; (2019) Designing Efficient Zero-Knowledge Proofs in the Ideal Linear Commitment Model. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Zero-knowledge proofs are cryptographic protocols where a prover convinces a verifier that a statement is true, without revealing why it is true or leaking any of the prover’s secret information. Since the introduction of zero-knowledge proofs, researchers have found numerous applications to other cryptographic schemes, such as electronic voting, group signatures, and verifiable computation. Zero-knowledge proofs have also become an integral part of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies. Thus, designing efficient zero-knowledge proofs is an important goal. Recently, the design space has become extremely large. To simplify protocol design, designers have begun to separate the process into modular steps. Information theoretic protocols are designed in idealised communication models and compiled into real protocols secure under cryptographic assumptions. In this thesis, we investigate the Ideal Linear Commitment model, which characterises interactive zero-knowledge protocols where the prover and verifier use homomorphic commitment schemes. We demonstrate the model’s power by exhibiting efficient protocols for useful tasks including NP-Complete problems and other more specialised problems. We demonstrate the model’s versatility by compiling the idealised protocols into real protocols under two completely different cryptographic assumptions; the discrete logarithm assumption, and the existence of collision-resistant hash functions. We show that the Ideal Linear Commitment model is a useful and effective abstraction for producing zero-knowledge protocols. Furthermore, by identifying the limitations of the model and finding protocols outside these constraints, we display special techniques which result in more efficient zero-knowledge proofs than ever. The results are novel and highly efficient protocols. Results include the first ever discrete-logarithm argument for general statements with logarithmic communication cost, the first ever three-move discrete-logarithm argument for arithmetic circuit satisfiability with sub-linear communication costs, and an argument for list membership with sub-logarithmic communication, less than the number of bits required to specify a list index. Every single one of our protocols improves the theoretical state-of-the-art.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Designing Efficient Zero-Knowledge Proofs in the Ideal Linear Commitment Model
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10079416
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