Communication Efficient Secret Sharing
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory
A secret sharing scheme is a method to store information securely and reliably. Particularly, in the threshold secret sharing scheme (due to Shamir), a secret is divided into shares, encoded and distributed to parties, such that any large enough collection of parties can decode the secret, and a smaller (then threshold) set of parties cannot collude to deduce any information about the secret. While Shamir's scheme was studied for more than 35 years, the question of minimizing its communication
... andwidth was not considered. Specifically, assume that a user (or a collection of parties) wishes to decode the secret by receiving information from a set of parties; the question we study is how to minimize the total amount of communication between the user and the parties. We prove a tight lower bound on the amount of communication necessary for decoding, and construct secret sharing schemes achieving the bound. The key idea for achieving optimal communication bandwidth is to let the user receive information from more than the necessary number of parties. In contrast, the current paradigm in secret sharing schemes is to decode from a minimum set of parties. Hence, existing secret sharing schemes are not optimal in terms of communication bandwidth. In addition, we consider secure distributed storage where our proposed communication e cient secret sharing schemes improve disk access complexity during decoding.