A tight parallel repetition theorem for partially simulatable interactive arguments via smooth kl-divergence

Itay Berman, Iftach Haitner, Eliad Tsfadia*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

1 Scopus citations


Hardness amplification is a central problem in the study of interactive protocols. While “natural” parallel repetition transformation is known to reduce the soundness error of some special cases of interactive arguments: three-message protocols (Bellare, Impagliazzo, and Naor [FOCS ’97]) and public-coin protocols (Håstad, Pass, Wikström, and Pietrzak [TCC ’10], Chung and Liu [TCC ’10] and Chung and Pass [TCC ’15]), it fails to do so in the general case (the above Bellare et al.; also Pietrzak and Wikström [TCC ’07]). The only known round-preserving approach that applies to all interactive arguments is Haitner’s random-terminating transformation [SICOMP ’13], who showed that the parallel repetition of the transformed protocol reduces the soundness error at a weak exponential rate: if the original m-round protocol has soundness error 1-ε, then the n-parallel repetition of its random-terminating variant has soundness error (1-ε)ε n/m4 (omitting constant factors). Håstad et al. have generalized this result to partially simulatable interactive arguments, showing that the n-fold repetition of an m-round δ-simulatable argument of soundness error 1-ε has soundness error (1-ε)ε δ2 n/m2 . When applied to random-terminating arguments, the Håstad et al. bound matches that of Haitner. In this work we prove that parallel repetition of random-terminating arguments reduces the soundness error at a much stronger exponential rate: the soundness error of the n parallel repetition is (1-ε)n/m, only an m factor from the optimal rate of (1-ε)n achievable in public-coin and three-message arguments. The result generalizes to δ-simulatable arguments, for which we prove a bound of (1-ε)δ n/m. This is achieved by presenting a tight bound on a relaxed variant of the KL-divergence between the distribution induced by our reduction and its ideal variant, a result whose scope extends beyond parallel repetition proofs. We prove the tightness of the above bound for random-terminating arguments, by presenting a matching protocol.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Cryptology - CRYPTO 2020 - 40th Annual International Cryptology Conference, Proceedings
EditorsDaniele Micciancio, Thomas Ristenpart
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)9783030568764
StatePublished - 2020
Event40th Annual International Cryptology Conference, CRYPTO 2020 - Santa Barbara, United States
Duration: 17 Aug 202021 Aug 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12172 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference40th Annual International Cryptology Conference, CRYPTO 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySanta Barbara


FundersFunder number
National Science FoundationCNS-1413920, CNS-1350619
Army Research OfficeW911NF-15-C-0236, W911NF-15-C-0226
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
European Research Council638121
Israel Science Foundation666/19
Check Point Institute for Information Security, Tel Aviv University


    • Interactive argument
    • Parallel repetition
    • Partially simulatable
    • Smooth KL-divergence


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