Multi-prover interactive proofs: How to remove intractability assumptions

Michael Ben-Or, Shafi Goldwasser, Joe Kilian, Avi Wigderson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

287 Scopus citations


Quite complex cryptographic machinery has been developed based on the assumption that one-way functions exist, yet we know of only a few possible such candidates. It is important at this time to find alternative foundations to the design of secure cryptography. We introduce a new model of generalized interactive proofs as a step in this direction. We prove that all NP languages have perfect zero-knowledge proof-systems in this model, without making any intractability assumptions. The generalized interactive-proof model consists of two computationally unbounded and untrusted provers, rather than one, who jointly agree on a strategy to convince the verifier of the truth of an assertion and then engage in a polynomial number of message exchanges with the verifier in their attempt to do so. To believe the validity of the assertion, the verifier must make sure that the two provers can not communicate with each other during the course of the proof process. Thus, the complexity assumptions made in previous work, have been traded for a physical separation between the two provers. We call this new model the multi-prover interactive-proof model, and examine its properties and applicability to cryptography.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, STOC 1988
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)0897912640, 9780897912648
StatePublished - 1988
Event20th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, STOC 1988 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: 2 May 19884 May 1988

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing
ISSN (Print)0737-8017


Conference20th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, STOC 1988
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityChicago, IL


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