Function-specific schemes for verifiable computation
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An integral component of modern computing is the ability to outsource data and computation to powerful remote servers, for instance, in the context of cloud computing or remote file storage. While participants can benefit from this interaction, a fundamental security issue that arises is that of integrity of computation: How can the end-user be certain that the result of a computation over the outsourced data has not been tampered with (not even by a compromised or adversarial server)? Cryptographic schemes for verifiable computation address this problem by accompanying each result with a proof that can be used to check the correctness of the performed computation. Recent advances in the field have led to the first implementations of schemes that can verify arbitrary computations. However, in practice the overhead of these general-purpose constructions remains prohibitive for most applications, with proof computation times (at the server) in the order of minutes or even hours for real-world problem instances. A different approach for designing such schemes targets specific types of computation and builds custom-made protocols, sacrificing generality for efficiency. An important representative of this function-specific approach is an authenticated data structure (ADS), where a specialized protocol is designed that supports query types associated with a particular outsourced dataset. This thesis presents three novel ADS constructions for the important query types of set operations, multi-dimensional range search, and pattern matching, and proves their security under cryptographic assumptions over bilinear groups. The scheme for set operations can support nested queries (e.g., two unions followed by an intersection of the results), extending previous works that only accommodate a single operation. The range search ADS provides an exponential (in the number of attributes in the dataset) asymptotic improvement from previous schemes for storage and computation costs. Finally, the pattern matching ADS supports text pattern and XML path queries with minimal cost, e.g., the overhead at the server is less than 4% compared to simply computing the result, for all our tested settings. The experimental evaluation of all three constructions shows significant improvements in proof-computation time over general-purpose schemes.