International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Mingxun Zhou


Efficient Pre-processing PIR Without Public-Key Cryptography
Classically, Private Information Retrieval (PIR) was studied in a setting without any pre-processing. In this setting, it is well-known that 1) public-key cryptography is necessary to achieve non-trivial (i.e., sublinear) communication efficiency in the single-server setting, and 2) the total server computation per query must be linear in the size of the database, no matter in the single-server or multi-server setting. Recent works have shown that both of these barriers can be overcome if we are willing to introduce a pre-processing phase. In particular, a recent work called \textsc{Piano} showed that using only one-way functions, one can construct a single-server preprocessing PIR with $\widetilde{O}(\sqrt{n})$ bandwidth and computation per query, assuming $\widetilde{O}(\sqrt{n})$ client storage. For the two-server setting, the state-of-the-art is defined by two incomparable results. First, \textsc{Piano} immediately implies a scheme in the two-server setting with the same performance bounds as stated above. Moreover, Beimel et al. showed a two-server scheme with $O(n^{1/3})$ bandwidth and $O(n/\log^2 n)$ computation per query, and one with $O(n^{1/2 + \epsilon})$ cost both in bandwidth and computation --- both schemes provide information theoretic security. In this paper, we show that assuming the existence of one-way functions, we can construct a two-server preprocessing PIR scheme with $\widetilde{O}(n^{1/4})$ bandwidth and $\widetilde{O}(n^{1/2})$ computation per query, while requiring only $\widetilde{O}(n^{1/2})$ client storage. We also construct a new single-server preprocessing PIR scheme with $\widetilde{O}(n^{1/4})$ {\it online} bandwidth and $\widetilde{O}(n^{1/2})$ {\it offline} bandwidth and {\it computation} per query, also requiring $\widetilde{O}(n^{1/2})$ client storage. Specifically, the online bandwidth is the bandwidth required for the client to obtain an answer, and the offline bandwidth can be viewed as %query-independent background maintenance work amortized to each query. Our new constructions not only advance the theoretical understanding of preprocessing PIR, but are also %conceptually simple and concretely efficient because the only cryptography needed is pseudorandom functions.


Ashrujit Ghoshal (1)
Elaine Shi (1)