[Resource Topic] 2023/1510: Towards Practical Doubly-Efficient Private Information Retrieval

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Towards Practical Doubly-Efficient Private Information Retrieval

Authors: Hiroki Okada, Rachel Player, Simon Pohmann, Christian Weinert


Private information retrieval (PIR) protocols allow clients to access database entries without revealing the queried indices. They have many real-world applications, including privately querying patent-, compromised credential-, and contact databases. While existing PIR protocols that have been implemented perform reasonably well in practice, they all have suboptimal asymptotic complexities.

A line of work has explored so-called doubly-efficient PIR (DEPIR), which refers to single-server PIR protocols with optimal asymptotic complexities. Recently, Lin, Mook, and Wichs (STOC 2023) presented the first protocol that completely satisfies the DEPIR constraints and can be rigorously proven secure. Unfortunately, their proposal is purely theoretical in nature. It is even speculated that such protocols are completely impractical, and hence no implementation of any DEPIR protocol exists.

In this work, we challenge this assumption. We propose several optimizations for the protocol of Lin, Mook, and Wichs that improve both asymptotic and concrete running times, as well as storage requirements, by orders of magnitude. Furthermore, we implement the resulting protocol and show that for batch queries it outperforms state-of-the-art protocols.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2023/1510

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