Communication efficient secret sharing

Wentao Huang, Michael Langberg, Jorg Kliewer, Jehoshua Bruck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A secret sharing scheme is a method to store information securely and reliably. Particularly, in a threshold secret sharing scheme, a secret is encoded into n shares, such that any set of at least t1 shares suffice to decode the secret, and any set of at most t2 < t1 shares reveal no information about the secret. Assuming that each party holds a share and a user wishes to decode the secret by receiving information from a set of parties; the question we study is how to minimize the amount of communication between the user and the parties. We show that the necessary amount of communication, termed 'decoding bandwidth', decreases as the number of parties that participate in decoding increases. We prove a tight lower bound on the decoding bandwidth, and construct secret sharing schemes achieving the bound. Particularly, we design a scheme that achieves the optimal decoding bandwidth when d parties participate in decoding, universally for all t1 ≤ d ≤ n. The scheme is based on a generalization of Shamir's secret sharing scheme and preserves its simplicity and efficiency. In addition, we consider the setting of secure distributed storage where the proposed communication efficient secret sharing schemes not only improve decoding bandwidth but further improve disk access complexity during decoding.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7587343
Pages (from-to)7195-7206
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1963-2012 IEEE.


  • Reed-Solomon codes
  • Security
  • communication bandwidth
  • distributed storage
  • secret sharing


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