International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Gal Arnon


A PCP Theorem for Interactive Proofs and Applications 📺
The celebrated PCP Theorem states that any language in NP can be decided via a verifier that reads O(1) bits from a polynomially long proof. Interactive oracle proofs (IOP), a generalization of PCPs, allow the verifier to interact with the prover for multiple rounds while reading a small number of bits from each prover message. While PCPs are relatively well understood, the power captured by IOPs (beyond $\NP$) has yet to be fully explored. We present a generalization of the PCP theorem for interactive languages. We show that any language decidable by a k(n)-round IP has a k(n)-round public-coin IOP, where the verifier makes its decision by reading only O(1) bits from each (polynomially long) prover message and $O(1)$ bits from each of its own (random) messages to the prover. Our result and the underlying techniques have several applications. We get a new hardness of approximation result for a stochastic satisfiability problem, we show IOP-to-IOP transformations that previously were known to hold only for IPs, and we formulate a new notion of PCPs (index-decodable PCPs) that enables us to obtain a commit-and-prove SNARK in the random oracle model for nondeterministic computations.
A Toolbox for Barriers on Interactive Oracle Proofs
Interactive oracle proofs (IOPs) are a proof system model that combines features of interactive proofs (IPs) and probabilistically checkable proofs (PCPs). IOPs have prominent applications in complexity theory and cryptography, most notably to constructing succinct arguments. In this work, we study the limitations of IOPs, as well as their relation to those of PCPs. We present a versatile toolbox of IOP-to-IOP transformations containing tools for: (i) length and round reduction; (ii) improving completeness; and (iii) derandomization. We use this toolbox to establish several barriers for IOPs: \begin{itemize} \item Low-error IOPs can be transformed into low-error PCPs. In other words, interaction can be used to construct low-error PCPs; alternatively, low-error IOPs are as hard to construct as low-error PCPs. This relates IOPs to PCPs in the regime of the sliding scale conjecture for inverse-polynomial soundness error. \item Limitations of quasilinear-size IOPs for 3SAT with small soundness error. \item Limitations of IOPs where query complexity is much smaller than round complexity. \item Limitations of binary-alphabet constant-query IOPs. \end{itemize} We believe that our toolbox will prove useful to establish additional barriers beyond our work.