On May 16-18 the 5th International Conference on Pairing-Based Cryptography was held in Cologne, Germany.
If anyone feels tempted to deem pairings dead, this conference is a good example to prove them wrong. In particular, pairing implementations have seen a few significant improvements in papers accepted to Pairing 2012. There is a nice paper by Aranha, Fuentes-Castaneda, Knapp, Menezes, and Rodriguez-Henriquez entitled “Implementing pairings at the 192-bit security level” that provides a thorough analysis of which curves and algorithms perform best. A somewhat suprising outcome is that BLS curves with embedding degree k=12 beat BN curves and KSS k=18 curves. The implementation described in the paper sets new software speed records for 192-bit pairings.
Two papers on pairing computation in hardware (by Ghosh et al. and Yao et al.) and an invited talk by Jean-Luc Beuchat showed that finally hardware has caught up and now outperforms the speed of software implementations, also at the 128-bit security level and in large characteristic. Jean-Luc gave a great overview of the state-of-the-art in his presentation entitled “Hardware Architecture for the Cryptographic Tate Pairing”.
Another nice result (though without immediate practical consequences) is the paper by Uchida and Uchiyama that generalizes Stange’s elliptic net algorithm for the Tate-Lichtenbaum pairing to hyperelliptic curves.
The four invited speakers all gave interesting and entertaining talks. Jung-Hee Cheon spoke about his work on discrete logarithms in pairing groups, Dennis Hofheinz talked on structure preserving cryptography, and Hovav Shacham gave a nice presentation “New Trapdoor Projection Maps for Composite-Order Bilinear Groups”. In particular, I would like to echo Hovav’s suggestion to remove the abstraction layer present in many
protocol papers in order to use the actual properties of real-world pairings.
The conference also featured a hot-topic session with very recent results and an industry track highlighting industrial applications. So stay tuned for the publication of the Pairing 2012 proceedings in the LNCS series. Overall, this was a very nice conference. And for me it was really great to see the early pairing implementation pioneers Paulo Barreto and Mike Scott in Cologne. 🙂
BTW, Cologne is a great place to organize a conference.
— Michael Naehrig