Purdue University Graduate School
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Efficient Building Blocks for Secure Multiparty Computation and Their Applications

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posted on 2022-07-27, 01:41 authored by Donghang LuDonghang Lu

Secure multi-party computation (MPC) enables mutually distrusting parties to compute securely over their private data. It is a natural approach for building distributed applications with strong privacy guarantees, and it has been used in more and more real-world privacy-preserving solutions such as privacy-preserving machine learning, secure financial analysis, and secure auctions.

The typical method of MPC is to represent the function with arithmetic circuits or binary circuits, then MPC can be applied to compute each gate privately. The practicality of secure multi-party computation (MPC) has been extensively analyzed and improved over the past decade, however, we are hitting the limits of efficiency with the traditional approaches as the circuits become more complicated. Therefore, we follow the design principle of identifying and constructing fast and provably-secure MPC protocols to evaluate useful high-level algebraic abstractions; thus, improving the efficiency of all applications relying on them. 

To begin with, we construct an MPC protocol to efficiently evaluate the powers of a secret value. Then we use it as a building block to form a secure mixing protocol, which can be directly used for anonymous broadcast communication. We propose two different protocols to achieve secure mixing offering different tradeoffs between local computation and communication. Meanwhile, we study the necessity of robustness and fairness in many use cases, and provide these properties to general MPC protocols. As a follow-up work in this direction, we design more efficient MPC protocols for anonymous communication through the use of permutation matrices. We provide three variants targeting different MPC frameworks and input volumes. Besides, as the core of our protocols is a secure random permutation, our protocol is of independent interest to more applications such as secure sorting and secure two-way communication.

Meanwhile, we propose the solution and analysis for another useful arithmetic operation: secure multi-variable high-degree polynomial evaluation over both scalar and matrices. Secure polynomial evaluation is a basic operation in many applications including (but not limited to) privacy-preserving machine learning, secure Markov process evaluation, and non-linear function approximation. In this work, we illustrate how our protocol can be used to efficiently evaluate decision tree models, with both the client input and the tree models being private. We implement the prototypes of this idea and the benchmark shows that the polynomial evaluation becomes significantly faster and this makes the secure comparison the only bottleneck. Therefore, as a follow-up work, we design novel protocols to evaluate secure comparison efficiently with the help of pre-computed function tables. We implement and test this idea using Falcon, a state-of-the-art privacy-preserving machine learning framework and the benchmark results illustrate that we get significant performance improvement by simply replacing their secure comparison protocol with ours.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Computer Science

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Aniket Kate

Additional Committee Member 2

Hemamta K. Maji

Additional Committee Member 3

Mikhail J. Atallah

Additional Committee Member 4

Yexiang Xue