Efficient Hybrid Exact/Relaxed Lattice Proofs and Applications to Rounding and VRFs
In this work, we study hybrid exact/relaxed zero-knowledge proofs from lattices, where the proved relation is exact in one part and relaxed in the other. Such proofs arise in important real-life applications such as those requiring verifiable PRF evaluation and have so far not received significant attention as a standalone problem. We first introduce a general framework, LANES+, for realizing such hybrid proofs efficiently by combining standard relaxed proofs of knowledge RPoK and the LANES framework (due to a series of works in Crypto'20, Asiacrypt'20, ACM CCS'20). The latter framework is a powerful lattice-based proof system that can prove exact linear and multiplicative relations. The advantage of LANES+ is its ability to realize hybrid proofs more efficiently by exploiting RPoK for the high-dimensional part of the secret witness while leaving a low-dimensional secret witness part for the exact proof that is proven at a significantly lower cost via LANES. Thanks to the flexibility of LANES+, other exact proof systems can also be supported. We apply our LANES+ framework to construct substantially shorter proofs of rounding, which is a central tool for verifiable deterministic lattice-based cryptography. Based on our rounding proof, we then design an efficient long-term verifiable random function (VRF), named LaV. LaV leads to the shortest VRF outputs among the proposals of standard (i.e., long-term and stateless) VRFs based on quantum-safe assumptions. Of independent interest, we also present generalized results for challenge difference invertibility, a fundamental soundness security requirement for many proof systems.