A Uniform Min-Max Theorem with Applications in Cryptography

  • Salil Vadhan
  • Colin Jia Zheng
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8042)


We present a new, more constructive proof of von Neumann’s Min-Max Theorem for two-player zero-sum game — specifically, an algorithm that builds a near-optimal mixed strategy for the second player from several best-responses of the second player to mixed strategies of the first player. The algorithm extends previous work of Freund and Schapire (Games and Economic Behavior ’99) with the advantage that the algorithm runs in poly(n) time even when a pure strategy for the first player is a distribution chosen from a set of distributions over {0, 1} n . This extension enables a number of additional applications in cryptography and complexity theory, often yielding uniform security versions of results that were previously only proved for nonuniform security (due to use of the non-constructive Min-Max Theorem).

We describe several applications, including a more modular and improved uniform version of Impagliazzo’s Hardcore Theorem (FOCS ’95), showing impossibility of constructing succinct non-interactive arguments (SNARGs) via black-box reductions under uniform hardness assumptions (using techniques from Gentry and Wichs (STOC ’11) for the nonuniform setting), and efficiently simulating high entropy distributions within any sufficiently nice convex set (extending a result of Trevisan, Tulsiani and Vadhan (CCC ’09)).


Pseudorandom Generator Common Reference String Cryptographic Assumption Uniform Algorithm Universal Predictor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© International Association for Cryptologic Research 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salil Vadhan
    • 1
  • Colin Jia Zheng
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Engineering and Applied SciencesHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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