Sublinear Scaling for Multi-Client Private Information Retrieval
Private information retrieval (PIR) allows clients to retrieve records from online database servers without revealing to the servers any information about what records are being retrieved. To achieve this, the servers must typically do a computation involving the entire database for each query. Previous work by Ishai et al. has suggested using batch codes to allow a single client (or collaborating clients) to retrieve multiple records simultaneously while allowing the server computation to scale sublinearly with the number of records fetched.
In this work, we observe a useful mathematical relationship between batch codes and efficient matrix multiplication algorithms, and use this to design a PIR server algorithm that achieves sublinear scaling in the number of records fetched, even when they are requested by distinct, non-collaborating clients; indeed, the clients can be completely unaware that the servers are implementing our optimization. Our multi-client server algorithm is several times faster, when enough records are fetched, than existing optimized PIR severs.
As an application of our work, we show how retrieving proofs of inclusion of certificates in a Certificate Transparency log server can be made privacy friendly using multi-client PIR.
We thank the anonymous reviewers and Ben Laurie for their helpful feedback. This research is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and by the research program Sentinels as project ‘Revocable Privacy’ (10532). Wouter Lueks is a member of the Privacy and Identity Lab (PI.lab). Sentinels is being financed by Technology Foundation STW, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. The PI.lab is funded by SIDN.nl (http://www.sidn.nl). This work benefitted from the use of the CrySP RIPPLE Facility at the University of Waterloo.
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