Maximums of the Additive Differential Probability of Exclusive-Or
At FSE 2004, Lipmaa et al. studied the additive differential probability adp⊕(α,β → γ) of exclusive-or where differences α,β,γ ∈ Fn2 are expressed using addition modulo 2n. This probability is used in the analysis of symmetric-key primitives that combine XOR and modular addition, such as the increasingly popular Addition-Rotation-XOR (ARX) constructions. The focus of this paper is on maximal differentials, which are helpful when constructing differential trails. We provide the missing proof for Theorem 3 of the FSE 2004 paper, which states that maxα,βadp⊕(α,β → γ) = adp⊕(0,γ → γ) for all γ. Furthermore, we prove that there always exist either two or eight distinct pairs α,β such that adp⊕( α,β → γ) = adp⊕(0,γ → γ), and we obtain recurrence formulas for calculating adp⊕. To gain insight into the range of possible differential probabilities, we also study other properties such as the minimum value of adp⊕(0,γ → γ), and we find all γ that satisfy this minimum value.