Preface, IACR Public Key Cryptography (PKC)

PKC 2012 was held at the Darmstadtium Congress Center in Darmstadt, Germany, from May 21 to May 23, 2012. The conference was sponsored by the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR).

The proceedings of PKC 2012 contain 41 papers selected from 188 submissions, which corresponds to a record number of submissions in the history of PKC. Each submission has been anonymized for the reviewing process and has been assigned to at least three of the 30 program committee members. Submissions co-authored by committee members have been assigned to at least five members. Committee members were allowed to submit at most one paper, or two if the second one was co-authored by a student. The committee decided to give the Best Paper Award to the paper "On definitions of selective opening security" by Florian Böhl, Dennis Hofheinz, and Daniel Kraschewski. The program also included an invited talk by David Pointcheval entitled "Password-based Authenticated Key Exchange". On behalf of the program committee I would like to thank David for accepting the invitation. David was so kind to also provide a summary for the proceedings.

I would like to thank all the authors who submitted papers. I am also indebted to the program committee members and all external reviewers for their voluntary work, especially since the huge number of submissions meant more work for each committee member than I initially promised. The committee's work has been tremendously simplified by Shai Halevi's submission software and his support. I would also like to thank the PKC steering committee for electing me as chair.

Many thanks also go to the general chairs Johannes Buchmann and Mark Manulis for making the event possible, and to Stanislav Bulygin and Heike Meissner for their support. Following a loose tradition of past PKC conferences you can find the general chairs' names as co-editors of the proceedings. Unlike me, the general chairs were in principle allowed to submit to the conference because they did not intervene in the selection process. It is clear that any objections or complaints about the program should be addressed to me.

I would have liked to say that we definitely picked the best papers among the submissions. But this would assume that there was only one best subset. And even if there was, the selection process inevitably contains some randomness, as acknowledged by chairs of other conferences before. Also, the importance of a paper has to stand the test of time, such that some uncertainty about our choice of today remains. I therefore wish the good submissions which did not make the cut for PKC that they eventually get accepted somewhere, and I hope that the papers we have chosen are interesting to you.

May 2012                              Marc Fischlin
PKC 2012 Program Chair