Affiliation: Georgia Institute of Technology
Stacked Garbling for Disjunctive Zero-Knowledge Proofs 📺
Zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs (ZKP) have received wide attention, focusing on non-interactivity, short proof size, and fast verification time. We focus on the fastest total proof time, in particular for large Boolean circuits. Under this metric, Garbled Circuit (GC)-based ZKP (Jawurek et al., [JKO], CCS 2013) remained the state-of-the-art technique due to the low-constant linear scaling of computing the garbling. We improve GC-ZKP for proof statements with conditional clauses. Our communication is proportional to the longest branch rather than to the entire proof statement. This is most useful when the number m of branches is large, resulting in up to factor m× improvement over JKO. In our proof-of-concept illustrative application, prover P demonstrates knowledge of a bug in a codebase consisting of any number of snippets of actual C code. Our computation cost is linear in the size of the code- base and communication is constant in the number of snippets. That is, we require only enough communication for a single largest snippet! Our conceptual contribution is stacked garbling for ZK, a privacy-free circuit garbling scheme that can be used with the JKO GC-ZKP protocol to construct more efficient ZKP. Given a Boolean circuit C and computational security parameter k, our garbling is L · k bits long, where L is the length of the longest execution path in C. All prior concretely efficient garbling schemes produce garblings of size |C| · k. The computational cost of our scheme is not increased over prior state-of-the-art. We implement our GC-ZKP and demonstrate significantly improved (m× over JKO) ZK performance for functions with branching factor m. Compared with recent ZKP (STARK, Libra, KKW, Ligero, Aurora, Bulletproofs), our scheme offers much better proof times for larger circuits (35-1000× or more, depending on circuit size and compared scheme). For our illustrative application, we consider four C code snippets, each of about 30-50 LOC; one snippet allows an invalid memory dereference. The entire proof takes 0.15 seconds and communication is 1.5 MB.
Stacked Garbling: Garbled Circuit Proportional to Longest Execution Path
Secure two party computation (2PC) of arbitrary programs can be efficiently achieved using garbled circuits (GC). The bottleneck of GC efficiency is communication. It is widely believed that it is necessary to transmit the entire GC during 2PC, even for conditional branches that are not taken. This folklore belief is false. We propose a novel GC technique, stacked garbling, that eliminates the communication cost of inactive conditional branches. We extend the ideas of conditional GC evaluation explored in (Kolesnikov, Asiacrypt 18) and (Heath and Kolesnikov, Eurocrypt 20). Unlike these works, ours is for general 2PC where no player knows which conditional branch is taken. Our garbling scheme, Stack, requires communication proportional to the longest execution path rather than to the entire circuit. Stack is compatible with state-of-the-art techniques, such as free XOR and half-gates. Stack is a garbling scheme. As such, it can be plugged into a variety of existing protocols, and the resulting round complexity is the same as that of standard GC. The approach does incur computation cost quadratic in the conditional branching factor vs linear in standard schemes, but the tradeoff is beneficial for most programs: GC computation even on weak hardware is faster than GC transmission on fast channels. We implemented Stack in C++. Stack reduces communication cost by approximately the branching factor: for 16 branches, communication is reduced by 10.5x. In terms of wall-clock time for circuits with branching factor 16 over a 50 Mbps WAN on a laptop, Stack outperforms state-of- the-art half-gates-based 2PC by more than 4x.