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The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

The Center for Education and Research in
Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

Ryan Henry - Indiana University

Students: Spring 2022, unless noted otherwise, sessions will be virtual on Zoom.

Batch Techniques for Practical Private Information Retrieval

Mar 09, 2016

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Private information retrieval (PIR) is a way for clients to query a remote database without the database holder learning the clients' query terms or the responses they generate. Compelling applications for PIR abound in the cryptographic and privacy research literature, yet existing PIR techniques are notoriously inefficient. Consequently, no such PIR-based application to date has seen real-world at-scale deployment.
In this talk, I will discuss some ongoing research that unifies "batch query" and "batch coding" techniques to help address PIR's efficiency problem. The new approach exploits the connection between 'ramp secret sharing schemes' and multi-server, information-theoretically secure PIR (IT-PIR) protocols, thereby enabling clients to fetch several records from an IT-PIR database for only *a fraction* the cost of fetching *a single record* using the standard approach. The approach is highly tuneable, and I will briefly discuss interesting asymptotic phenomenon that arise with extremal settings of the various tuning knobs.

About the Speaker

Ryan Henry
Ryan Henry is an assistant professor at Indiana University Bloomington. He obtained his PhD from the University of Waterloo in 2014, where he held the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Canada's most prestigious graduate scholarship. His research explores the systems challenges of applied cryptography, with a particular emphasis on using cryptography to build secure systems that protect the privacy of their users.

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