*19:17*[Pub][ePrint] Lossy Chains and Fractional Secret Sharing, by Yuval Ishai and Eyal Kushilevitz and Omer Strulovich

Motivated by the goal of controlling the amount of work required to

access a shared resource or to solve a cryptographic puzzle,

we introduce and study the related notions of {\\em lossy chains} and {\\em fractional secret sharing}.

Fractional secret sharing generalizes traditional secret sharing by allowing a fine-grained control over the amount of uncertainty

about the secret. More concretely, a fractional secret sharing scheme realizes a fractional access structure $f:2^{[n]}\\to [m]$ by guaranteeing that from the point of view of each set $T\\subseteq [n]$ of parties, the secret is {\\em uniformly} distributed over a set of $f(T)$ potential secrets. We show that every (monotone) fractional access structure can be realized. For {\\em symmetric} structures, in which $f(T)$ depends only on the size of $T$, we give an efficient construction with share size $poly(n,\\log m)$.

Our construction of fractional secret sharing schemes is based on the new notion of {\\em lossy chains} which may be of independent interest.

A lossy chain is a Markov chain $(X_0,\\ldots,X_n)$ which starts with a random secret $X_0$ and gradually loses information about it at a rate which is specified by a {\\em loss function} $g$. Concretely, in every step $t$, the distribution of $X_0$ conditioned on the value of $X_t$ should always be uniformly distributed over a set of size $g(t)$.

We show how to construct such lossy chains efficiently for any possible loss function $g$, and prove that our construction achieves an optimal asymptotic information rate.