Private Information Retrieval in Graph-Based Replication Systems

Netanel Raviv, Itzhak Tamo, Eitan Yaakobi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a Private Information Retrieval (PIR) protocol, a user can download a file from a database without revealing the identity of the file to each individual server. A PIR protocol is called $t$ -private if the identity of the file remains concealed even if $t$ of the servers collude. Graph based replication is a simple technique, which is prevalent in both theory and practice, for achieving robustness in storage systems. In this technique each file is replicated on two or more storage servers, giving rise to a (hyper-)graph structure. In this paper we study private information retrieval protocols in graph based replication systems. The main interest of this work is understanding the collusion structures which emerge in the underlying graph. Our main contribution is a 2-replication scheme which guarantees perfect privacy from acyclic sets in the graph, and guarantees partial-privacy in the presence of cycles. Furthermore, by providing an upper bound, it is shown that the PIR rate of this scheme is at most a factor of two from its optimal value for regular graphs. Lastly, we extend our results to larger replication factors and to graph-based coding, a generalization of graph based replication that induces smaller storage overhead and larger PIR rate in many cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8910598
Pages (from-to)3590-3602
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Private information retrieval (PIR)
  • distributed storage systems


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