, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 263-296

Lower bounds for linear locally decodable codes and private information retrieval

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Abstract.

We prove that if a linear error-correcting code C:{0, 1} n →{0, 1} m is such that a bit of the message can be probabilistically reconstructed by looking at two entries of a corrupted codeword, then m = 2Ω (n). We also present several extensions of this result.

We show a reduction from the complexity of one-round, information-theoretic Private Information Retrieval Systems (with two servers) to Locally Decodable Codes, and conclude that if all the servers’ answers are linear combinations of the database content, then t  =  Ω (n/2 a ), where t is the length of the user’s query and a is the length of the servers’ answers. Actually, 2 a can be replaced by O(a k ), where k is the number of bit locations in the answer that are actually inspected in the reconstruction.

Manuscript received 14 December 2003