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Verifiable Distributed Aggregation Functions

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This is an older version of an Internet-Draft whose latest revision state is "Replaced".
Authors Christopher Patton , Richard Barnes , Phillipp Schoppmann
Last updated 2021-10-25
Replaced by draft-irtf-cfrg-vdaf
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CFRG                                                           C. Patton
Internet-Draft                                          Cloudflare, Inc.
Intended status: Informational                               R.L. Barnes
Expires: 28 April 2022                                             Cisco
                                                           P. Schoppmann
                                                         25 October 2021

              Verifiable Distributed Aggregation Functions


   This document describes Verifiable Distributed Aggregation Functions
   (VDAFs), a family of multi-party protocols for computing aggregate
   statistics over user measurements.  These protocols are designed to
   ensure that, as long as at least one aggregation server executes the
   protocol honestly, individual measurements are never seen by any
   server in the clear.  At the same time, VDAFs allow the servers to
   detect if a malicious or misconfigured client submitted an input that
   would result in an incorrect aggregate result.

Discussion Venues

   This note is to be removed before publishing as an RFC.

   Discussion of this document takes place on the Crypto Forum Research
   Group mailing list (, which is archived at

   Source for this draft and an issue tracker can be found at

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

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   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on 28 April 2022.

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   provided without warranty as described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  Conventions and Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   3.  Overview  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   4.  Definition of VDAFs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     4.1.  Setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     4.2.  Sharding  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     4.3.  Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     4.4.  Aggregation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
     4.5.  Unsharding  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     4.6.  Execution of a VDAF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   5.  Preliminaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
     5.1.  Key Derivation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
     5.2.  Finite Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
       5.2.1.  Deriving a Pseudorandom Vector  . . . . . . . . . . .  17
       5.2.2.  Inner product of Vectors  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
   6.  prio3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
     6.1.  Fully Linear Proof (FLP) Systems  . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
       6.1.1.  Encoding the Input  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
     6.2.  Construction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
       6.2.1.  Setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
       6.2.2.  Sharding  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
       6.2.3.  Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24
       6.2.4.  Aggregation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  26
       6.2.5.  Unsharding  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  26
       6.2.6.  Helper Functions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  27
   7.  hits  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  27
     7.1.  Incremental Distributed Point Functions (IDPFs) . . . . .  28
     7.2.  Construction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  29
       7.2.1.  Setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  30
       7.2.2.  Preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  31

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       7.2.3.  Aggregation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  33
       7.2.4.  Unsharding  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  33
       7.2.5.  Helper Functions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  33
   8.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  34
   9.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  35
   10. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  35
     10.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  35
     10.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  35
   Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  37
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  37

1.  Introduction

   The ubiquity of the Internet makes it an ideal platform for
   measurement of large-scale phenomena, whether public health trends or
   the behavior of computer systems at scale.  There is substantial
   overlap, however, between information that is valuable to measure and
   information that users consider private.

   For example, consider an application that provides health information
   to users.  The operator of an application might want to know which
   parts of their application are used most often, as a way to guide
   future development of the application.  Specific users' patterns of
   usage, though, could reveal sensitive things about them, such as
   which users are researching a given health condition.

   In many situations, the measurement collector is only interested in
   aggregate statistics, e.g., which portions of an application are most
   used or what fraction of people have experienced a given disease.
   Thus systems that provide aggregate statistics while protecting
   individual measurements can deliver the value of the measurements
   while protecting users' privacy.

   Most prior approaches to this problem fall under the rubric of
   "differential privacy (DP)" [Dwo06].  Roughly speaking, a data
   aggregation system that is differentially private ensures that the
   degree to which any individual measurement influences the value of
   the aggregated output can be precisely controlled.  For example, in
   systems like RAPPOR [EPK14], each user samples noise from a well-
   known distribution and adds it to their input before submitting to
   the aggregation server.  The aggregation server then adds up the
   noisy inputs, and because it knows the distribution from whence the
   noise was sampled, it can estimate the true sum with reasonable

   Differentially private systems like RAPPOR are easy to deploy and
   provide a useful guarantee.  On its own, however, DP falls short of
   the strongest privacy property one could hope for.  Specifically,

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   depending on the "amount" of noise a client adds to its input, it may
   be possible for a curious aggregator to make a reasonable guess of
   the input's true value.  Indeed, the more noise the clients add, the
   less reliable will be the server's estimate of the output.  Thus
   systems employing DP techniques alone must strike a delicate balance
   between privacy and utility.

   The ideal goal for a privacy-preserving measurement system is that of
   secure multi-party computation: No participant in the protocol should
   learn anything about an individual input beyond what it can deduce
   from the aggregate.  In this document, we describe Verifiable
   Distributed Aggregation Functions (VDAFs) as a general class of
   protocols that achieve this goal.

   VDAF schemes achieve their privacy goal by distributing the
   computation of the aggregate among a number of non-colluding
   aggregation servers.  As long as a subset of the servers executes the
   protocol honestly, VDAFs guarantee that no input is ever accessible
   to any party besides the client that submitted it.  At the same time,
   VDAFs are "verifiable" in the sense that malformed inputs that would
   otherwise garble the output of the computation can be detected and
   removed from the set of inputs.

   The cost of achieving these security properties is the need for
   multiple servers to participate in the protocol, and the need to
   ensure they do not collude to undermine the VDAF's privacy
   guarantees.  Recent implementation experience has shown that
   practical challenges of coordinating multiple servers can be
   overcome.  The Prio system [CGB17] (essentially a VDAF) has been
   deployed in systems supporting hundreds of millions of users: The
   Mozilla Origin Telemetry project [OriginTelemetry] and the Exposure
   Notification Private Analytics collaboration among the Internet
   Security Research Group (ISRG), Google, Apple, and others [ENPA].

   The VDAF abstraction laid out in Section 4 represents a class of
   multi-party protocols for privacy-preserving measurement proposed in
   the literature.  These protocols vary in their operational and
   security considerations, sometimes in subtle but consequential ways.
   This document therefore has two important goals:

   1.  Providing applications like [I-D.draft-gpew-priv-ppm] with a
       simple, uniform interface for accessing privacy-preserving
       measurement schemes, and documenting relevant operational and
       security bounds for that interface:

       1.  General patterns of communications among the various actors
           involved in the system (clients, aggregators, and measurement

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       2.  Capabilities of a malicious coalition of servers attempting
           divulge information about client inputs; and

       3.  Conditions that are necessary to ensure that malicious
           clients cannot corrupt the computation.

   2.  Providing cryptographers with design criteria that allow new
       constructions to be easily used by applications.

   This document also specifies two concrete VDAF schemes, each based on
   a protocol from the literature.

   *  The aforementioned Prio system [CGB17] allows for the privacy-
      preserving computation of a variety aggregate statistics.  The
      basic idea underlying Prio is fairly simple:

      1.  Each client shards its input into a sequence of additive
          shares and distributes the shares among the aggregation

      2.  Next, each server adds up its shares locally, resulting in an
          additive share of the aggregate.

      3.  Finally, the aggregators combine their additive shares to
          obtain the final aggregate.

      The difficult part of this system is ensuring that the servers
      hold shares of a valid input, e.g., the input is an integer in a
      specific range.  Thus Prio specifies a multi-party protocol for
      accomplishing this task.

      In Section 6 we describe prio3, a VDAF that follows the same
      overall framework as the original Prio protocol, but incorporates
      techniques introduced in [BBCGGI19] that result in significant
      performance gains.

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   *  More recently, Boneh et al.  [BBCGGI21] described a protocol for
      solving the t-heavy-hitters problem in a privacy-preserving
      manner.  Here each client holds a bit-string of length n, and the
      goal of the aggregation servers is to compute the set of inputs
      that occur at least t times.  The core primitive used in their
      protocol is a generalization of a Distributed Point Function (DPF)
      [GI14] that allows the servers to "query" their DPF shares on any
      bit-string of length shorter than or equal to n.  As a result of
      this query, each of the servers has an additive share of a bit
      indicating whether the string is a prefix of the client's input.
      The protocol also specifies a multi-party computation for
      verifying that at most one string among a set of candidates is a
      prefix of the client's input.

      In Section 7 we describe a VDAF called hits that implements this

   The remainder of this document is organized as follows: Section 3
   gives a brief overview of VDAFs; Section 4 defines the syntax for
   VDAFs; Section 5 defines various functionalities that are common to
   our constructions; Section 7 describes the hits construction;
   Section 6 describes the prio3 construction; and Section 8 enumerates
   the security considerations for VDAFs.

2.  Conventions and Definitions

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in
   BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
   capitals, as shown here.

   Algorithms in this document are written in Python 3.  Type hints are
   used to define input and output types.  Function parameters without
   type hints implicitly have type Bytes, an arbitrary byte string.  A
   fatal error in a program (e.g., failure to parse one of the function
   parameters) is usually handled by raising an exception.

   Some common functionalities:

   *  zeros(len: Unsigned) -> output: Bytes returns an array of zero
      bytes.  The length of output MUST be len.

   *  gen_rand(len: Unsigned) -> output: Bytes returns an array of
      random bytes.  The length of output MUST be len.

   *  byte(int: Unsigned) -> Byte returns the representation of int as a
      byte.  The value of int MUST be in range [0,256).

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3.  Overview

   In a VDAF-based private measurement system, we distinguish three
   types of actors: Clients, Aggregators, and Collectors.  The overall
   flow of the measurement process is as follows:

   *  Clients are configured with public parameters for a set of

   *  To submit an individual measurement, a client shards the
      measurement into "input shares" and sends one input share to each

   *  The aggregators verify the validity of the input shares, producing
      a set of "output shares".

      -  Output shares are in one-to-one correspondence with the input

      -  Just as each Aggregator receives one input share of each input,
         at the end of the validation process, each aggregator holds one
         output share.

      -  In most VDAFs, aggregators will need to exchange information
         among themselves as part of the validation process.

   *  Each aggregator combine the output shares across inputs in the
      batch to compute "aggregate shares", i.e., shares of the desired
      aggregate result.

   *  The aggregators submit their aggregate shares to the collector,
      who combines them to obtain the aggregate result over the batch.

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              +---->| Aggregator 0 |----+
              |     +--------------+    |
              |             ^           |
              |             |           |
              |             V           |
              |     +--------------+    |
              | +-->| Aggregator 1 |--+ |
              | |   +--------------+  | |
   +--------+-+ |           ^         | +->+-----------+
   | Client |---+           |         +--->| Collector |--> Aggregate
   +--------+-+                         +->+-----------+
              |            ...          |
              |                         |
              |             |           |
              |             V           |
              |    +----------------+   |
              +--->| Aggregator N-1 |---+

         Input shares           Aggregate shares

                   Figure 1: Overall data flow of a VDAF

   Aggregators are a new class of actor relative to traditional
   measurement systems where clients submit measurements to a single
   server.  They are critical for both the privacy properties of the
   system and the correctness of the measurements obtained.  The privacy
   properties of the system are assured by non-collusion among
   aggregators, and aggregators are the entities that perform validation
   of client inputs.  Thus clients trust Aggregators not to collude
   (typically it is required that at least one Aggregator is honest),
   and Collectors trust Aggregators to properly verify Client inputs.

   Within the bounds of the non-collusion requirements of a given VDAF
   instance, it is possible for the same entity to play more than one
   role.  For example, the Collector could also act as an Aggregator,
   effectively using the other Aggregators to augment a basic client-
   server protocol.

   In this document, we describe the computations performed by the
   actors in this system.  It is up to applications to arrange for the
   required information to be delivered to the proper actors in the
   proper sequence.  In general, we assume that all communications are
   confidential and mutually authenticated, with the exception that
   Clients submitting measurements may be anonymous.

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4.  Definition of VDAFs

   A concrete VDAF specifies the algorithms involved in evaluating an
   aggregation function across a batch of inputs.  This section
   specifies the interfaces of these algorithms as they would be exposed
   to applications.

   The overall execution of a VDAF comprises the following steps:

   *  Setup - Generating shared parameters for the aggregators

   *  Sharding - Computing input shares from an individual measurement

   *  Preparation - Conversion and verification of input shares to
      output shares compatible with the aggregation function being

   *  Aggregation - Combining a set of output shares into an aggregate

   *  Unsharding - Combining a set of aggregate shares into an aggregate

   The setup algorithm is performed once for a given collection of
   Aggregators.  Sharding and preparation are done once per measurement
   input.  Aggregation and unsharding are done over a batch of inputs
   (more precisely, over the output shares recovered from those inputs).

   Note that the preparation step performs two functions: Verification
   and conversion.  Conversion translates input shares into output
   shares that are compatible with the aggregation function.
   Verification ensures that aggregating the recovered output shares
   will not lead to a garbled aggregate result.

   A concrete VDAF scheme specifies implementations of these algorithms.
   In addition, a VDAF specifies the following constants:

   *  SHARES: Unsigned is the number of Aggregators for which the VDAF
      is defined.

   *  ROUNDS: Unsigned is the number of rounds of communication among
      the Aggregators before they recover output shares from a single
      set of input shares.

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4.1.  Setup

   Before execution of the VDAF can begin, it is necessary to distribute
   long-lived parameters to the Client and Aggregators.  The long-lived
   parameters are generated by the following algorithm:

   *  vdaf_setup() -> (public_param, verify_params: Vec[Bytes]) is the
      randomized setup algorithm used to generate the public parameter
      used by the Clients (public_param) and the verification parameters
      used by the Aggregators (verify_params).  The length of the latter
      MUST be SHARES.  The parameters are generated once and reused
      across multiple VDAF evaluations.  In general, an Aggregator's
      verification parameter is considered secret and MUST NOT be
      revealed to the Clients, Collector or other Aggregators.

4.2.  Sharding

   In order to protect the privacy of its measurements, a VDAF client
   divides its measurements into "input shares".  The
   measurement_to_input_shares method is executed by the client to
   produce these shares.  One share is sent to each aggregator.

   *  measurement_to_input_shares(public_param, input) -> input_shares:
      Vec[Bytes] is the randomized input-distribution algorithm run by
      each Client.  It consumes the public parameter and input
      measurement and produces a sequence of input shares, one for each
      Aggregator.  The length of input_shares MUST be SHARES.


       | measure_to_input_shares                      |
         |              |              ...  |
         V              V                   V
        input_share_0  input_share_1       input_share_[SHARES-1]
         |              |              ...  |
         V              V                   V
       Aggregator 0   Aggregator 1        Aggregator SHARES-1

       Figure 2: The Client divides its measurement input into input
              shares and distributes them to the Aggregators.

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4.3.  Preparation

   To recover and verify the validity of output shares, the Aggregators
   interact with one another over ROUND rounds.  In the first round,
   each aggregator produces a single output based on its input share.
   In subsequent rounds, each aggregator is given the outputs from all
   aggregators in the previous round.  After the final round, either all
   aggregators hold an output share (if the output shares are valid) or
   all aggregators report an error (if they are not).

   This process involves a value called the "aggregation parameter" used
   to map the input shares to output shares.  The Aggregators need to
   agree on this parameter before they can begin preparing inputs for

       Aggregator 0   Aggregator 1        Aggregator SHARES-1
       ============   ============        ===================

       input_share_0  input_share_1       input_share_[SHARES-1]
         |              |              ...  |
         V              V                   V
       +-----------+  +-----------+       +-----------+
       | prep init |  | prep init |       | prep init |
       +-----------+  +------------+      +-----------+
         |              |              ...  |
         V              V                   V
       +-----------+  +-----------+       +-----------+
       | prep next |  | prep next |       | prep next |
       +-----------+  +-----------+       +-----------+
         |              |              ...  |
         |              |                   |
         V              V                   V
        ...            ...                 ...
         |              |                   |
         V              V                   V
       +-----------+  +-----------+       +-----------+
       | prep next |  | prep next |       | prep next |
       +-----------+  +-----------+       +-----------+
         |              |              ...  |
         V              V                   V
       out_share_0    out_share_1         out_share_[SHARES-1]

        Figure 3: VDAF preparation process on the input shares for a
      single input.  The === lines indicate the sharing of one round's
        outputs as the inputs to the next round.  At the end of the
        protocol, each aggregator holds an output share or an error.

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   *  PrepState(verify_param, agg_param, nonce, input_share) is the
      deterministic preparation-state initialization algorithm run by
      each Aggregator to begin processing its input share into an output
      share.  Its inputs are the aggregator's verification parameter
      (verify_param), the aggregation parameter (agg_param), the nonce
      provided by the environment (nonce, see Figure 6), and one of the
      input shares generated by the client (input_share).  Its outputs
      is the Aggregator's initial preparation state.

   * Vec[Bytes]) -> outbound is the
      deterministic preparation-state update algorithm run by each
      Aggregator.  It updates the Aggregator's preparation state (an
      instance of PrepState) and returns either its outbound message for
      the current round or, if this is the last round, its output share.
      An exception is raised if a valid output share could not be
      recovered.  The input of this algorithm is the sequence of inbound
      messages from the previous round or, if this is the first round,
      an empty vector.

   In effect, each Aggregator moves through a linear state machine with
   ROUNDS+1 states.  The Aggregator enters the first state on using the
   initialization algorithm, and the update algorithm advances the
   Aggregator to the next state.  Thus, in addition to defining the
   number of rounds (ROUNDS), a VDAF instance defines the state of the
   aggregator after each round.

      TODO Consider how to bake this "linear state machine" condition
      into the syntax.  Given that Python 3 is used as our pseudocode,
      it's easier to specify the preparation state using a class.

   The preparation-state update accomplishes two tasks that are
   essential to most schemes: recovery of output shares from the input
   shares, and a multi-party computation carried out by the Aggregators
   to ensure that their output shares are valid.  The VDAF abstraction
   boundary is drawn so that an Aggregator only recovers an output share
   if it is deemed valid (at least, based on the Aggregator's view of
   the protocol).  Another way to draw this boundary woulds be to have
   the Aggregators recover output shares first, then verify that they
   are valid.  However, this would allow the possibility of misusing the
   API by, say, aggregating an invalid output share.  Moreover, in some
   protocols, like Prio+ [AGJOP21] it is necessary for the Aggregators
   to interact in order to recover output shares at all.

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   Note that it is possible for a VDAF to specify ROUNDS == 0, in which
   case each Aggregator runs the preparation-state update algorithm once
   and immediately recovers its output share without interacting with
   the other Aggregators.  However, most, if not all, constructions will
   require some amount of interaction in order to ensure validity of the
   output shares (while also maintaining privacy).

4.4.  Aggregation

   Once an aggregator holds validated output shares for a batch of
   measurements (where batches are defined by the application), it
   combines them into a share of the desired aggregate result.  This
   algorithm is performed locally at each Aggregator, without
   communication with the other Aggregators.

   *  output_to_aggregate_shares(agg_param, output_shares) is the
      deterministic aggregation algorithm.  It is run by each Aggregator
      over the output shares it has computed over a batch of measurement

       Aggregator 0    Aggregator 1        Aggregator SHARES-1
       ============    ============        ===================

       out_share_0_0   out_share_1_0       out_share_[SHARES-1]_0
       out_share_0_1   out_share_1_1       out_share_[SHARES-1]_1
       out_share_0_2   out_share_1_2       out_share_[SHARES-1]_2
            ...             ...                     ...
       out_share_0_B   out_share_1_B       out_share_[SHARES-1]_B
         |               |                   |
         V               V                   V
       +-----------+   +-----------+       +-----------+
       | out2agg   |   | out2agg   |   ... | out2agg   |
       +-----------+   +-----------+       +-----------+
         |               |                   |
         V               V                   V
       agg_share_0     agg_share_1         agg_share_[SHARES-1]

    Figure 4: Aggregation of output shares. `B` indicates the number of
                         measurements in the batch.

   For simplicity, we have written this algorithm and the unsharding
   algorithm below in "one-shot" form, where all shares for a batch are
   provided at the same time.  Some VDAFs may also support a "streaming"
   form, where shares are processed one at a time.

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4.5.  Unsharding

   After the Aggregators have aggregated a sufficient number of output
   shares, each sends its aggregate share to the Collector, who runs the
   following algorithm to recover the following output:

   *  aggregate_shares_to_result(agg_param, agg_shares: Vec[Bytes]) ->
      agg_result is run by the Collector in order to compute the
      aggregate result from the Aggregators' shares.  The length of
      agg_shares MUST be SHARES.  This algorithm is deterministic.

       Aggregator 0    Aggregator 1        Aggregator SHARES-1
       ============    ============        ===================

       agg_share_0     agg_share_1         agg_share_[SHARES-1]
         |               |                   |
         V               V                   V
       | aggregate_shares_to_result                    |


          Figure 5: Computation of the final aggregate result from
                             aggregate shares.

      QUESTION Maybe the aggregation algorithms should be randomized in
      order to allow the Aggregators (or the Collector) to add noise for
      differential privacy.  (See the security considerations of
      [I-D.draft-gpew-priv-ppm].)  Or is this out-of-scope of this

4.6.  Execution of a VDAF

   Executing a VDAF involves the concurrent evaluation of the VDAF on
   individual inputs and aggregation of the recovered output shares.
   This is captured by the following example algorithm:

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   def run_vdaf(agg_param, nonces: Vec[Bytes], input_batch: Vec[Bytes]):
     # Distribute long-lived parameters.
     (public_param, verify_params) = vdaf_setup()

     output_shares = []
     for (nonce, input) in zip(nonces, input_batch):
       # Each client shards its input into shares.
       input_shares = measurement_to_input_shares(public_param, input)

       # Each aggregator initializes its preparation state.
       prep_states = []
       for j in range(SHARES):
             verify_params[j], agg_param, nonce, input_shares[j]))

       # Aggregators recover their output shares.
       inbound = []
       for i in range(ROUNDS+1):
         outbound = []
         for j in range(SHARES):
         # This is where we would send messages over the network
         # in a distributed VDAF computation.
         inbound = outbound

       # The final outputs of validation are the output shares
       # for this input.

     # Each aggregator aggregates its output shares into an
     # aggregate share.
     agg_shares = []
     for j in range(SHARES):
       my_output_shares = [out[j] for out in output_shares]
       my_agg_share = output_to_aggregate_shares(my_output_shares)

     # Collector unshards the aggregate.
     return aggregate_shares_to_result(agg_shares)

                       Figure 6: Execution of a VDAF.

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   The inputs to this algorithm are the aggregation parameter agg_param,
   a list of nonces nonces, and a batch of Client inputs input_batch.
   The aggregation parameter is chosen by the aggregators prior to
   executing the VDAF.  This document does not specify how the nonces
   are chosen, but some of our security considerations require that the
   nonces be unique for each VDAF evaluation.  See Section 8 for

   Another important question this document leaves out of scope is how a
   VDAF is to be executed by aggregators distributed over a real
   network.  Algorithm run_vdaf prescribes the protocol's execution in a
   "benign" environment in which there is no adversary and messages are
   passed among the protocol participants over secure point-to-point
   channels.  In reality, these channels need to be instantiated by some
   "wrapper protocol" that implements suitable cryptographic
   functionalities.  Moreover, some fraction of the Aggregators (or
   Clients) may be malicious and diverge from their prescribed
   behaviors.  Section 8 describes the execution of the VDAF in various
   adversarial environments and what properties the wrapper protocol
   needs to provide in each.

5.  Preliminaries

   This section describes the cryptographic primitives that are common
   to the VDAFs specified in this document.

5.1.  Key Derivation

   A key-derivation scheme defines a method for deriving symmetric keys
   and a method for expanding a symmetric into an arbitrary length key
   stream are required.  This scheme consists of the following

   *  get_key(init_key, aux_input) -> key derives a fresh key key from
      an initial key init_key and auxiliary input aux_input.  The length
      of init_key and key MUST be equal to KEY_SIZE.

   *  key_stream_init(key) -> state: KeyStream returns a key stream
      generator that is used to generate an arbitrary length stream of
      pseudorandom bytes.  The length of key MUST be KEY_SIZE.

   * Unsigned) -> (new_state: KeyStream, output)
      returns the next len bytes of the key stream and updates the key
      stream generator state.  The length of the output MUST be len.

      TODO This functionality closely resembles what people usually
      think of as an extract-then-expand KDF, but differs somewhat in
      its syntax and, also, its required security properties.  Can we

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      get the same functionality from something that's more commonplace?
      HKDF doesn't fit the bill, unfortunately, because keys can only be
      expanded to a fairly short length.  Our application requires a
      rather long key stream.

   Associated types:

   *  KeyStream represents the state of the key stream generator.

   Associated constants:

   *  KEY_SIZE is the size of keys for the key-derivation scheme.

5.2.  Finite Fields

   In this document we only consider finite fields of the form GF(p) for
   prime p.  Finite field elements are represented by a type Field that
   defines binary operators for addition and multiplication in the
   field.  The type also defines the following associated functions:

   *  Field.zeros(len: Unsigned) -> output: Vec[Field] returns a vector
      of zeros.  The length of output MUST be len.

   *  Field.rand_vec(len: Unsigned) -> output: Vec[Field] returns a
      vector of random field elements.  The length of output MUST be

         NOTE In reality this would be achieved by generating a random
         key and expanding it into a sequence of field elements using a
         key derivation scheme.  This should probably be made explicit.

   *  Field.encode_vec(data: Vec[Field]) -> encoded_data: Bytes
      represents the input data as a byte string encoded_data.

   *  Field.decode_vec(encoded_data: Bytes) -> data: Vec[Field] reverse
      encoded_vec, returning the vector of field elements encoded by
      encoded_data.  Raises an exception if the input does not encode a
      valid vector of field elements.

5.2.1.  Deriving a Pseudorandom Vector

      TODO Specify the following function in terms of a key-derivation
      scheme.  It'll use key_stream_init to create a KeyStream object
      and read from it multiple times.

   *  expand(Field, key: Bytes, len: Unsigned) -> output: Vec[Field]
      expands a key into a pseudorandom sequence of field elements.

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5.2.2.  Inner product of Vectors

      TODO Specify the following:

   *  inner_product(left: Vec[Field], right: Vec[Field]) -> Field
      computes the inner product of left and right.

6.  prio3

      NOTE This construction has not undergone significant security

      NOTE An implementation of this VDAF can be found here

   This section describes a VDAF suitable for the following data
   aggregation task.  Each Client measurement is encoded as a vector
   over a finite field, and the aggregate is computed by summing the
   vectors element-wise.  Validity is defined by an arithmetic circuit C
   that takes as input a vector of field elements x: if C(x) == 0, then
   we say that x is valid; otherwise, we say that x is invalid.  A
   number of useful measurement types can be defined this way:

   *  Simples statistics, like sum, average, and standard deviation;

   *  Estimation of quantiles, via a histogram; and

   *  Linear regression.

   This VDAF does not have an aggregation parameter.  Instead, the
   output share is derived from an input share by applying a fixed map.
   See Section 7 for an example of a VDAF that makes meaningful use of
   the aggregation parameter.

   While the construction is derived from the original Prio system
   [CGB17], prio3 takes advantage of optimizations described later in
   [BBCGGI19] that improve communication complexity significantly.  The
   etymology of the term prio3 is that it descends from the original
   Prio construction.  A second iteration was deployed in the [ENPA]
   system, and like the VDAF described here, the ENPA system was built
   from techniques introduced by [BBCGGI19].  However, was specialized
   for a particular measurement type.  The goal of prio3 is to provide
   the same level of generality as the original system.

   The way prio3 ensures privacy is quite simple: the Client shards its
   encoded input vector x into a number of additive secret shares, one
   for each Aggregator.  Aggregators sum up their vector shares locally,

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   and once enough shares have been aggregated, each sends its share of
   the result to the Collector, who recovers the aggregate result by
   adding up the vectors.

   The main problem that needs to be solved is to verify that the
   additive shares generated by the Client add up to a valid input,
   i.e., that C(x)=0.  The solution introduced by [BBCGGI19] is what
   they call a zero-knowledge proof system on distributed data.  Viewing
   the Client as the prover and the Aggregators as the (distributed)
   verifier, the goal is to devise a protocol by which the Client
   convinces the Aggregators that they hold secret shares of a valid
   input, without revealing the input itself.

   The core tool for accomplishing this task is a refinement of
   Probabilistically Checkable Proof (PCP) systems called a Fully Linear
   Proof (FLP) system.  We describe FLPs in detail below.  Briefly, the
   Client generates a "proof" of its input's validity and distributes
   additive shares of the proof among the Aggregators.  Each Aggregator
   then performs a computation on its input share and proof share
   locally and sends the result to the other Aggregators.  Combining the
   results yields allows each Aggregator to decide if the input shares
   are valid.

   prio3 can be viewed as a transformation of a particular class of FLP
   systems into a VDAF.  The next section describes FLPs in detail, and
   the construction is given in Section 6.2.

6.1.  Fully Linear Proof (FLP) Systems

   Conceptually, an FLP system is a two-party protocol executed by a
   prover and a verifier.  In actual use, however, the prover's
   computation is carried out by the Client, and the verifier's
   computation is distributed among the Aggregators.  (More on this in
   Section 6.2.)  An FLP specifies the following core algorithms
   (encoding of inputs is described in Section 6.1.1:

   *  flp_prove(input: Vec[Field], prove_rand: Vec[Field], joint_rand:
      Vec[Field]) -> proof: Vec[Field] is the deterministic proof-
      generation algorithm run by the prover.  Its inputs are the
      encoded input, the "prover randomness" prove_rand, and the "joint
      randomness" joint_rand.  The proof randomness is used only by the
      prover, but the joint randomness is shared by both the prover and
      verifier.  Type Field is a finite field as defined in Section 5.2.

   *  flp_query(input: Vec[Field], proof: Vec[Field], query_rand:
      Vec[Field], joint_rand: Vec[Field]) -> verifier: Vec[Field] is the
      query-generation algorithm run by the verifier.  This is is used
      to "query" the input and proof.  The result of the query (i.e.,

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      the output of this function) is called the "verifier message".  In
      addition to the input and proof, this algorithm takes as input the
      query randomness query_rand and the joint randomness joint_rand.
      The former is used only by the verifier, but the latter is the
      same randomness used by the prover.

   *  flp_decide(verifier: Vec[Field]) -> decision: Boolean is the
      deterministic decision algorithm run by the verifier.  It takes as
      input the verifier message and outputs a boolean indicating if the
      input from whence it was generated is valid.

   A concrete FLP defines the following constants:

   *  JOINT_RAND_LEN: Unsigned is the length of the joint randomness in
      number of field elements.

   *  PROVE_RAND_LEN: Unsigned is the length of the prover randomness.

   *  QUERY_RAND_LEN: Unsigned is the length of the query randomness.

   *  INPUT_LEN: Unsigned is the length of the input.

   *  OUTPUT_LEN: Unsigned is the length of the aggregable output.

   *  PROOF_LEN: Unsigned is the length of the proof.

   *  VERIFIER_LEN: Unsigned is the length of the verifier message.

   Our application requires that the FLP is "fully linear" in the sense
   defined in [BBCGGI19].  As a practical matter, what this property
   implies is that the query-generation algorithm can be run by each
   aggregator locally on its share of the input and proof, and the
   results can be combined to recover the verifier message.  In the
   remainder, the result generated by an aggregator will be referred to
   as its "verifier share".

   An FLP is executed by the prover and verifier as follows:

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   def run_flp(input: Vec[Field]):
     joint_rand = Field.rand_vec(JOINT_RAND_LEN)
     prove_rand = Field.rand_vec(PROVE_RAND_LEN)
     query_rand = Field.rand_vec(QUERY_RAND_LEN)

     # Prover generates the proof.
     proof = flp_prove(input, prove_rand, joint_rand)

     # Verifier queries the input and proof.
     verifier = flp_query(input, proof, query_rand, joint_rand)

     # Verifier decides if the input is valid.
     return flp_decide(verifier)

                       Figure 7: Execution of an FLP.

   The proof system is constructed so that, if input is a valid input,
   then run_flp(input) always returns True.  On the other hand, if input
   is invalid, then as long as joint_rand and query_rand are generated
   uniform randomly, the output is False with overwhelming probability.
   In addition, the proof system is designed so that the verifier
   message leaks nothing about the input (in an information theoretic
   sense).  See Definition 3.9 from [BBCGGI19] for details.

   An FLP is typically constructed from an arithmetic circuit that in
   turn defines validity.  However, in the remainder we do not
   explicitly mention this circuit and allow validity to be defined by
   the set of inputs recognized by the FLP when run as described above.

   Note that [BBCGGI19] defines a much larger class of fully linear
   proof systems; what is called a FLP here is called a 1.5-round,
   public-coin, interactive oracle proof system in their paper.

6.1.1.  Encoding the Input

   The type of measurement being aggregated is defined by the FLP.
   Hence, the FLP also specifies a method of encoding raw measurements
   as a vector of field elements:

   *  flp_encode(measurement: Bytes) -> input: Vec[Field] encodes a raw
      measurement as a vector of field elements.  The returned input
      MUST be of length INPUT_LEN.  An error is raised if the
      measurement cannot be represented as a valid input.

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   In addition, for some FLPs, the encoded input includes redundant
   field elements that are useful for checking the proof, but which are
   not needed after the proof has been checked.  Thus the FLP defines an
   algorithm for truncating the input to the length of the aggregated

   *  flp_truncate(input: Vec[Field]) -> output: Vec[Field] maps an
      encoded input to an aggregable output.  The length of the input
      MUST be INPUT_LEN and the length of the output MUST be OUTPUT_LEN.

   Note that, taken together, these two functionalities correspond
   roughly to the notion of Affine-aggregatable encodings (AFEs) from

6.2.  Construction

   This VDAF involves a single round of communication (ROUNDS == 1).  It
   is defined for at least two Aggregators, but no more than 255. (2 <=
   SHARES <= 255).

6.2.1.  Setup

   The setup algorithm generates a symmetric key shared by all of the
   aggregators.  The key is used to derive unique joint randomness for
   the FLP query-generation algorithm run by the aggregators during

   def vdaf_setup():
     k_query_init = gen_rand(KEY_SIZE)
     verify_param = [ (j, k_query_init) for j in range(SHARES) ]
     return (None, verify_param)

                  Figure 8: The setup algorithm for prio3.

6.2.2.  Sharding

   Recall from Section 6.1 that the syntax for FLP systems calls for
   "joint randomness" shared by the prover (i.e., the Client) and the
   verifier (i.e., the Aggregators).  VDAFs have no such notion.
   Instead, the Client derives the joint randomness from its input in a
   way that allows the Aggregators to reconstruct it from their input
   shares.  (Note that this idea comes from Section 6.2.3 of

   The input-distribution algorithm involves the following steps:

   1.  Encode the Client's raw measurement as an input for the FLP

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   2.  Shard the input into a sequence of input shares.

   3.  Derive the joint randomness from the input shares.

   4.  Run the FLP proof-generation algorithm using prover randomness
       generated locally.

   5.  Shard the proof into a sequence of input shares.

   The input and proof shares of one Aggregator (below we call it the
   "leader") are vectors of field elements.  For shares of the other
   aggregators (below we call them the "helpers") as constant-sized
   symmetric keys.  This is accomplished by mapping the key to a key
   stream and expanding the key stream into a pseudorandom vector of
   field elements.  This involves a key-derivation scheme described in
   Section 5 and the helper function expand described in the same

   This algorithm also makes use of a pair of helper functions for
   encoding the leader share and helper share.  These are called
   encode_leader_share and encode_helper_share respectively and they are
   described in Section 6.2.6.

   def measurement_to_input_shares(_, measurement):
     input = flp_encode(measurement)
     k_joint_rand = zeros(SEED_SIZE)

     # Generate input shares.
     leader_input_share = input
     k_helper_input_shares = []
     k_helper_blinds = []
     k_helper_hints = []
     for j in range(SHARES-1):
       k_blind = gen_rand(KEY_SIZE)
       k_share = gen_rand(KEY_SIZE)
       helper_input_share = expand(Field, k_share, INPUT_LEN)
       leader_input_share -= helper_input_share
       k_hint = get_key(k_blind,
           byte(j+1) + Field.encode_vec(helper_input_share))
       k_joint_rand ^= k_hint
     k_leader_blind = gen_rand(KEY_SIZE)
     k_leader_hint = get_key(k_leader_blind,
         byte(0) + Field.encode_vec(leader_input_share))
     k_joint_rand ^= k_leader_hint

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     # Finish joint randomness hints.
     for j in range(SHARES-1):
       k_helper_hints[i] ^= k_joint_rand
     k_leader_hint ^= k_joint_rand

     # Generate the proof shares.
     joint_rand = expand(Field, k_joint_rand, JOINT_RAND_LEN)
     prove_rand = expand(Field, gen_rand(KEY_SIZE), PROVE_RAND_LEN)
     proof = flp_prove(input, prove_rand, joint_rand)
     leader_proof_share = proof
     k_helper_proof_shares = []
     for j in range(SHARES-1):
       k_share = gen_rand(KEY_SIZE)
       helper_proof_share = expand(Field, k_share, PROOF_LEN)
       leader_proof_share -= helper_proof_share

     input_shares = []
     for j in range(SHARES-1):
     return input_shares

             Figure 9: Input-distribution algorithm for prio3.

6.2.3.  Preparation

   This section describes the process of recovering output shares from
   the input shares.  The high-level idea is that each of the
   Aggregators runs the FLP query-generation algorithm on its share of
   the input and proof and exchange shares of the verifier message.
   Once they've done that, each runs the FLP decision algorithm on the
   verifier message locally to decide whether to accept.

   In addition, the Aggregators must ensure that they have all used the
   same joint randomness for the query-generation algorithm.  The joint
   randomness is generated by a symmetric key.  Each Aggregator derives
   an XOR secret share of this key from its input share and the "blind"

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   generated by the client.  Before it can run the query-generation
   algorithm, it must first gather the XOR secret shares derived by the
   other Aggregators.

   So that the Aggregators can avoid an extra round of communication,
   the client sends each Aggregator a "hint" equal to the XOR of the
   other Aggregators' shares of the joint randomness key.  However, this
   leaves open the possibility that the client cheated by, say, forcing
   the Aggregators to use joint randomness the biases the proof check
   procedure some way in its favor.  To mitigate this, the Aggregators
   also check that they have all computed the same joint randomness key
   before accepting their output shares.

      NOTE This optimization somewhat diverges from Section 6.2.3 of
      [BBCGGI19].  We'll need to understand better how this impacts

   The preparation state is defined as follows.  It involves two
   additional helper functions, encode_verifer_share and
   decode_verifier_share, both of which are defined in Section 6.2.6.

   class PrepState:
     def __init__(verify_param, _, nonce, r_input_share):
       (j, k_query_init) = verify_param

       if j == 0: # leader
         (self.input_share, self.proof_share,
          k_blind, k_hint) = decode_leader_share(r_input_share)
         (k_input_share, k_proof_share,
          k_blind, k_hint) = decode_helper_share(r_input_share)
         self.input_share = expand(Field, k_input_share, INPUT_LEN)
         self.proof_share = expand(Field, k_proof_share, PROOF_LEN)

       self.k_joint_rand_share = get_key(
         k_blind, byte(j) + self.input_share)
       self.k_joint_rand = k_hint ^ self.k_joint_rand_share
       self.k_query_rand = get_key(k_query_init, byte(255) + nonce)
       self.step = "ready"

     def next(self, inbound: Vec[Bytes]):
       if self.step == "ready" and len(inbound) == 0:
         joint_rand = expand(Field, self.k_joint_rand, JOINT_RAND_LEN)
         query_rand = expand(Field, self.k_query_rand, QUERY_RAND_LEN)
         verifier_share = flp_query(
           self.input_share, self.proof_share, query_rand, joint_rand)

         self.output_share = flp_truncate(input_share)

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         self.step = "waiting"
         return encode_verifier_share(

       elif self.step == "waiting" and len(inbound) == SHARES:
         k_joint_rand = zeros(KEY_SIZE)
         verifier = vec_zeros(VERIFIER_LEN)
         for r_share in inbound:
            verifier_share) = decode_verifier_share(r_share)

           k_joint_rand ^= k_joint_rand_share
           verifer += verifier_share

         if k_joint_rand != self.k_joint_rand: raise ERR_INVALID
         if not flp_decide(verifier): raise ERR_INVALID
         return Field.encode_vec(self.output_share)

       else: raise ERR_INVALID_STATE

                  Figure 10: Preparation state for prio3.

      NOTE JOINT_RAND_LEN may be 0, in which case the joint randomness
      computation is not necessary.  Should we bake this option into the

6.2.4.  Aggregation

   def output_to_aggregate_shares(_, output_shares: Vec[Bytes]):
     agg_share = vec_zeros(OUTPUT_LEN)
     for output_share in output_shares:
       agg_share += Field.decode_vec(output_share)
     return Field.encode_vec(agg_share)

                Figure 11: Aggregation algorithm for prio3.

6.2.5.  Unsharding

   def aggregate_shares_to_result(_, agg_shares: Vec[Bytes]):
     agg = vec_zeros(OUTPUT_LEN)
     for agg_share in agg_shares:
       agg += Field.decode_vec(agg_share)
     return Field.encode_vec(agg)

         Figure 12: Computation of the aggregate result for prio3.

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6.2.6.  Helper Functions

      TODO Specify the following functionalities.

   *  encode_leader_share(input_share: Vec[Field], proof_share:
      Vec[Field], blind, hint) -> encoded: Bytes encodes a leader share
      as a byte string.

   *  encode_helper_share(input_share, proof_sahre, blind, hint) ->
      encoded: Bytes encodes a helper share as a byte string.

   *  decode_leader_share and decode_helper_share decode a leader and
      helper share respectively.

   *  encode_verifier_share(hint, verifier_share: Vec[Field]) -> encoded
      encodes a hint and verifier share as a byte string.

   *  decode_verifier_share decodes a verifier share.

7.  hits

      NOTE An implementation of this VDAF can be found here

   This section specifies hits, a VDAF for the following task.  Each
   Client holds a BITS-bit string and the Aggregators hold a set of
   l-bit strings, where l <= BITS.  We will refer to the latter as the
   set of "candidate prefixes".  The Aggregators' goal is to count how
   many inputs are prefixed by each candidate prefix.

   This functionality is the core component of the privacy-preserving t-
   heavy-hitters protocol of [BBCGGI21].  At a high level, the protocol
   works as follows.

   1.  Each Clients runs the input-distribution algorithm on its n-bit
       string and sends an input share to each Aggregator.

   2.  The Aggregators agree on an initial set of candidate prefixes,
       say 0 and 1.

   3.  The Aggregators evaluate the VDAF on each set of input shares and
       aggregate the recovered output shares.  The aggregation parameter
       is the set of candidate prefixes.

   4.  The Aggregators send their aggregate shares to the Collector, who
       combines them to recover the counts of each candidate prefix.

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   5.  Let H denote the set of prefixes that occurred at least t times.
       If the prefixes all have length BITS, then H is the set of t-
       heavy-hitters.  Otherwise compute the next set of candidate
       prefixes as follows.  For each p in H, add add p || 0 and p || 1
       to the set.  Repeat step 3 with the new set of candidate

   hits is constructed from an "Incremental Distributed Point Function
   (IDPF)", a primitive described by [BBCGGI21] that generalizes the
   notion of a Distributed Point Function (DPF) [GI14].  Briefly, a DPF
   is used to distribute the computation of a "point function", a
   function that evaluates to zero on every input except at a
   programmable "point".  The computation is distributed in such a way
   that no one party knows either the point or what it evaluates to.

   An IDPF generalizes this "point" to a path on a full binary tree from
   the root to one of the leaves.  It is evaluated on an "index"
   representing a unique node of the tree.  If the node is on the path,
   then function evaluates to to a non-zero value; otherwise it
   evaluates to zero.  This structure allows an IDPF to provide the
   functionality required for the above protocol, while at the same time
   ensuring the same degree of privacy as a DPF.

   Our VDAF composes an IDPF with the "secure sketching" protocol of
   [BBCGGI21].  This protocol ensures that evaluating a set of input
   shares on a unique set of candidate prefixes results in shares of a
   "one-hot" vector, i.e., a vector that is zero everywhere except for
   one element, which is equal to one.

   The name hits is an anagram of "hist", which is short for
   "histogram".  It is a nod toward the "subset histogram" problem
   formulated by [BBCGGI21] and for which the hits is a solution.

7.1.  Incremental Distributed Point Functions (IDPFs)

      NOTE An implementation of IDPFs can be found here

   An IDPF is defined over a domain of size 2^BITS, where BITS is
   constant defined by the IDPF.  The Client specifies an index alpha
   and values beta, one for each "level" 1 <= l <= BITS.  The key
   generation generates two IDPF keys, one for each Aggregator.  When
   evaluated at index 0 <= x < 2^l, each IDPF share returns an additive
   share of beta[l] if x is the l-bit prefix of alpha and shares of zero

      CP What does it mean for x to be the l-bit prefix of alpha?  We
      need to be a bit more precise here.

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      CP Why isn't the domain size actually 2^(BITS+1), i.e., the number
      of nodes in a binary tree of height BITS (excluding the root)?

   Each beta[l] is a pair of elements of a finite field.  Each level MAY
   have different field parameters.  Thus a concrete IDPF specifies
   associated types Field[1], Field[2], ..., and Field[BITS] defining,
   respectively, the field parameters at level 1, level 2, ..., and
   level BITS.

   An IDPF is comprised of the following algorithms (let type Value[l]
   denote (Field[l], Field[l]) for each level l):

   *  idpf_gen(alpha: Unsigned, beta: (Value[1], ..., Value[BITS])) ->
      key: (IDPFKey, IDPFKey) is the randomized key-generation algorithm
      run by the client.  Its inputs are the index alpha and the values
      beta.  The value of alpha MUST be in range [0, 2^BITS).

   *  IDPFKey.eval(l: Unsigned, x: Unsigned) -> value: Value[l]) is
      deterministic, stateless key-evaluation algorithm run by each
      Aggregator.  It returns the value corresponding to index x.  The
      value of l MUST be in [1, BITS] and the value of x MUST be in
      range [2^(l-1), 2^l).

   A concrete IDPF specifies a single associated constant:

   *  BITS: Unsigned is the length of each Client input.

   A concrete IDPF also specifies the following associated types:

   *  Field[l] for each level 1 <= l <= BITS.  Each defines the same
      methods and associated constants as Field in Section 6.

   Note that IDPF construction of [BBCGGI21] uses one field for the
   inner nodes of the tree and a different, larger field for the leaf
   nodes.  See [BBCGGI21], Section 4.3.

   Finally, an implementation note.  The interface for IPDFs specified
   here is stateless, in the sense that there is no state carried
   between IPDF evaluations.  This is to align the IDPF syntax with the
   VDAF abstraction boundary, which does not include shared state across
   across VDAF evaluations.  In practice, of course, it will often be
   beneficial to expose a stateful API for IDPFs and carry the state
   across evaluations.

7.2.  Construction

   The VDAF involves two rounds of communication (ROUNDS == 2) and is
   defined for two Aggregators (SHARES == 2).

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7.2.1.  Setup

   The verification parameter is a symmetric key shared by both
   Aggregators.  This VDAF has no public parameter.

   def vdaf_setup():
     k_verify_init = gen_rand(KEY_SIZE)
     return (None, [(0, k_verify_init), (1, k_verify_init)])

                  Figure 13: The setup algorithm for hits.  Client

   The client's input is an IDPF index, denoted alpha.  The values are
   pairs of field elements (1, k) where each k is chosen at random.
   This random value is used as part of the secure sketching protocol of
   [BBCGGI21].  After evaluating their IDPF key shares on the set of
   candidate prefixes, the sketching protocol is used by the Aggregators
   to verify that they hold shares of a one-hot vector.  In addition,
   for each level of the tree, the prover generates random elements a,
   b, and c and computes

       A = -2*a + k
       B = a*a + b - k*a + c

   and sends additive shares of a, b, c, A and B to the Aggregators.
   Putting everything together, the input-distribution algorithm is
   defined as follows.  Function encode_input_share is defined in
   Section 7.2.5.

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   def measurement_to_input_shares(_, alpha):
     if alpha < 2**BITS: raise ERR_INVALID_INPUT

     # Prepare IDPF values.
     beta = []
     correlation_shares_0, correlation_shares_1 = [], []
     for l in range(1,BITS+1):
       (k, a, b, c) = Field[l].rand_vec(4)

       # Construct values of the form (1, k), where k
       # is a random field element.
       beta += [(1, k)]

       # Create secret shares of correlations to aid
       # the Aggregators' computation.
       A = -2*a+k
       B = a*a + b - a * k + c
       correlation_share = Field[l].rand_vec(5)
         [a, b, c, A, B] - correlation_share)

     # Generate IDPF shares.
     (key_0, key_1) = idpf_gen(input, beta)

     input_shares = [
       encode_input_share(key_0, correlation_shares_0),
       encode_input_share(key_1, correlation_shares_1),

     return input_shares

           Figure 14: The input-distribution algorithm for hits.

      TODO It would be more efficient to represent the correlation
      shares using PRG seeds as suggested in [BBCGGI21].

7.2.2.  Preparation

   The aggregation parameter encodes a sequence of candidate prefixes.
   When an Aggregator receives an input share from the Client, it begins
   by evaluating its IDPF share on each candidate prefixe, recovering a
   pair of vectors of field elements data_share and auth_share, The
   Aggregators use auth_share and the correlation shares provided by the
   Client to verify that their data_share vectors are additive shares of
   a one-hot vector.

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   class PrepState:
     def __init__(verify_param, agg_param, nonce, input_share):
       (self.l, self.candidate_prefixes) = decode_indexes(agg_param)
        self.correlation_shares) = decode_input_share(input_share)
       (self.party_id, k_verify_init) = verify_param
       self.k_verify_rand = get_key(k_verify_init, nonce)
       self.step = "ready"

     def next(self, inbound: Vec[Bytes]):
       l = self.l
       (a_share, b_share, c_share,
        A_share, B_share) = correlation_shares[l-1]

       if self.step == "ready" and len(inbound) == 0:
         # Evaluation IPPF on candidate prefixes.
         data_share, auth_share = [], []
         for x in self.candiate_prefixes:
           value = kdpf_key.eval(l, x)

         # Prepare first sketch verification message.
         r = expand(Field[l], self.k_verify_rand, len(data_share))
         verifier_share_1 = [
            a_share + inner_product(data_share, r),
            b_share + inner_product(data_share, r * r),
            c_share + inner_product(auth_share, r),

         self.output_share = data_share
         self.step = "sketch round 1"
         return verifier_share_1

       elif self.step == "sketch round 1" and len(inbound) == 2:
         verifier_1 = Field[l].deocde_vec(inbound[0]) + \

         verifier_share_2 = [
           (verifier_1[0] * verifier_1[0] \
            - verifier_1[1] \
            - verifier_1[2]) * self.party_id \
           + A_share * verifer_1[0] \
           + B_share

         self.step = "sketch round 2"
         return Field[l].encode_vec(verifier_share_2)

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       elif self.step == "sketch round 2" and len(inbound) == 2:
         verifier_2 = Field[l].decode_vec(inbound[0]) + \

         if verifier_2 != 0: raise ERR_INVALID
         return Field[l].encode_vec(self.output_share)

       else: raise ERR_INVALID_STATE

                   Figure 15: Preparation state for hits.

7.2.3.  Aggregation

   def output_to_aggregate_shares(agg_param, output_shares: Vec[Bytes]):
     (l, candidate_prefixes) = decode_indexes(agg_param)
     if len(output_shares) != len(candidate_prefixes):
       raise ERR_INVALID_INPUT

     agg_share = Field[l].vec_zeros(len(candidate_prefixes))
     for output_share in output_shares:
       agg_share += Field[l].decode_vec(output_share)

     return Field[l].encode_vec(agg_share)

                 Figure 16: Aggregation algorithm for hits.

7.2.4.  Unsharding

   def aggregate_shares_to_result(agg_param, agg_shares: Vec[Bytes]):
     (l, _) = decode_indexes(agg_param)
     if len(agg_shares) != 2:
       raise ERR_INVALID_INPUT

     agg = Field[l].decode_vec(agg_shares[0]) + \

     return Field[l].encode_vec(agg)

          Figure 17: Computation of the aggregate result for hits.

7.2.5.  Helper Functions

      TODO Specify the following functionalities:

   *  encode_input_share is used to encode an input share, consisting of
      an IDPF key share and correlation shares.

   *  decode_input_share is used to decode an input share.

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   *  decode_indexes(encoded: Bytes) -> (l: Unsigned, indexes:
      Vec[Unsigned]) decodes a sequence of indexes, i.e., candidate
      indexes for IDFP evaluation.  The value of l MUST be in range [1,
      BITS] and indexes[i] MUST be in range [2^(l-1), 2^l) for all i.
      An error is raised if encoded cannot be decoded.

8.  Security Considerations

      NOTE: This is a brief outline of the security considerations.
      This section will be filled out more as the draft matures and
      security analyses are completed.

   Multi-party protocols for privacy-preserving measurement have two
   essential security gaols:

   1.  Privacy: An attacker that controls the network, the Collector,
       and a subset of Clients and Aggregators learns nothing about the
       measurements of honest Clients beyond what it can deduce from the
       aggregate result.

   2.  Robustness: An attacker that controls the network and a subset of
       Clients cannot cause the Collector to compute anything other than
       the aggregate of the measurements of honest Clients.

   (Note that it is also possible to consider a stronger form of
   robustness, where the attacker also controls a subset of Aggregators.
   See [BBCGGI19], Section 6.3.)  A VDAF is the core cryptographic
   primitive of a protocol that achieves these goals.  It is not
   sufficient on its own, however.  The application will need to assure
   a few security properties, for example:

   *  Securely distributing the long-lived parameters.

   *  Establishing secure channels:

      -  Confidential and authentic channels among Aggregators, and
         between the Aggregators and the Collector; and

      -  Confidential and Aggregator-authenticated channels between
         Clients and Aggregators.

   *  Enforcing the non-collusion properties required of the specific
      VDAF in use.

   In such an environment, a VDAF provides the high-level privacy
   property described above: The collector learns only the aggregate
   measurement, and nothing about individual measurements aside from
   what can be inferred from the aggregate result.  The aggregators

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   learn neither individual measurements nor the aggregate result.  The
   collector is assured that the aggregate statistic accurately reflects
   the inputs as long as the Aggregators correctly executed their role
   in the VDAF.

   On their own, VDAFs do not mitigate Sybil attacks [Dou02].  In this
   attack, the adversary observes a subset of input shares transmitted
   by a Client it is interested in.  It allows the input shares to be
   processed, but corrupts and picks bogus inputs for the remaining
   Clients.  Applications can guard against these risks by adding
   additional controls on measurement submission, such as client
   authentication and rate limits.

   VDAFs do not inherently provide differential privacy [Dwo06].  The
   VDAF approach to private measurement can be viewed as complementary
   to differential privacy, relying on non-collusion instead of
   statistical noise to protect the privacy of the inputs.  It is
   possible that a future VDAF could incorporate differential privacy
   features, e.g., by injecting noise before the sharding stage and
   removing it after unsharding.

9.  IANA Considerations

   This document makes no request of IANA.

10.  References

10.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,

   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC
              2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174,
              May 2017, <>.

10.2.  Informative References

   [AGJOP21]  Addanki, S., Garbe, K., Jaffe, E., Ostrovsky, R., and A.
              Polychroniadou, "Prio+: Privacy Preserving Aggregate
              Statistics via Boolean Shares", 2021,

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   [BBCGGI19] Boneh, D., Boyle, E., Corrigan-Gibbs, H., Gilboa, N., and
              Y. Ishai, "Zero-Knowledge Proofs on Secret-Shared Data via
              Fully Linear PCPs", CRYPTO 2019 , 2019,

   [BBCGGI21] Boneh, D., Boyle, E., Corrigan-Gibbs, H., Gilboa, N., and
              Y. Ishai, "Lightweight Techniques for Private Heavy
              Hitters", IEEE S&P 2021 , 2021, <>.

   [CGB17]    Corrigan-Gibbs, H. and D. Boneh, "Prio: Private, Robust,
              and Scalable Computation of Aggregate Statistics", NSDI
              2017 , 2017,

   [Dou02]    Douceur, J., "The Sybil Attack", IPTPS 2002 , 2002,

   [Dwo06]    Dwork, C., "Differential Privacy", ICALP 2006 , 2006,

   [ENPA]     "Exposure Notification Privacy-preserving Analytics (ENPA)
              White Paper", 2021, <https://covid19-static.cdn-

   [EPK14]    Erlingsson, Ú., Pihur, V., and A. Korolova, "RAPPOR:
              Randomized Aggregatable Privacy-Preserving Ordinal
              Response", CCS 2014 , 2014,

   [GI14]     Gilboa, N. and Y. Ishai, "Distributed Point Functions and
              Their Applications", EUROCRYPT 2014 , 2014,

              Geoghegan, T., Patton, C., Rescorla, E., and C. A. Wood,
              "Privacy Preserving Measurement", Work in Progress,
              Internet-Draft, draft-gpew-priv-ppm-00, 25 October 2021,

              "Origin Telemetry", 2020, <https://firefox-source-

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   [Vad16]    Vadhan, S., "The Complexity of Differential Privacy",
              2016, <


   Thanks to Henry Corrigan-Gibbs, Mariana Raykova, and Christopher Wood
   for useful feedback on the syntax of VDAF schemes.

Authors' Addresses

   Christopher Patton
   Cloudflare, Inc.


   Richard L. Barnes


   Phillipp Schoppmann


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