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A Lower Bound for Proving Hardness of Learning with Rounding with Polynomial Modulus
Authors: Parker Newton and Silas RichelsonAbstract:
Regev’s Learning with Errors (LWE) problem (STOC 2005) is a fundamental hardness assumption for modern cryptography. The Learning with Rounding (LWR) Problem was put forth by Banarjee, Peikert and Rosen (Eurocrypt 2012) as an alternative to LWE, for use in cryptographic situations which require determinism. The only method we currently have for proving hardness of LWR is the so-called “rounding reduction” which is a specific reduction from an analogous LWE problem. This reduction works whenever the LWE error is small relative to the noise introduced by rounding, but it fails otherwise. For this reason, all prior work on establishing hardness of LWR forces the LWE error to be small, either by setting other parameters extremely large (which hurts performance), or by limiting the number of LWR samples seen by the adversary (which rules out certain applications). Hardness of LWR is poorly understood when the LWE modulus (q) is polynomial and when the number of LWE samples (m) seen by the adversary is an unbounded polynomial. This range of parameters is the most relevant for practical implementations, so the lack of a hardness proof in this situation is not ideal. In this work, we identify an obstacle for proving the hardness of LWR via a reduction from LWE in the above parameter regime. Specifically, we show that any “point-wise” reduction from LWE to LWR can be used to directly break the corresponding LWE problem. A reduction is “point-wise” if it maps LWE samples to LWR samples one at a time. Our argument goes roughly as follows: first we show that any point-wise reduction from LWE to LWR must have good agreement with some affine map; then we use a Goldreich-Levin-type theorem to extract the LWE secret given oracle access to a point-wise reduction with good affine agreement. Both components may be of independent interest.
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