Oblivious RAM Revisited

Abstract

We reinvestigate the oblivious RAM concept introduced by Goldreich and Ostrovsky, which enables a client, that can store locally only a constant amount of data, to store remotely n data items, and access them while hiding the identities of the items which are being accessed. Oblivious RAM is often cited as a powerful tool, but is also commonly considered to be impractical due to its overhead, which is asymptotically efficient but is quite high.We redesign the oblivious RAM protocol using modern tools, namely Cuckoo hashing and a new oblivious sorting algorithm. The resulting protocol uses only O(n) external memory, and replaces each data request by only O(log 2 n) requests.