Information Security and Cryptography Research Group

Graceful Degradation in Multi-Party Computation

Martin Hirt, Christoph Lucas, Ueli Maurer, and Dominik Raub

The 5th International Conference on Information Theoretic Security - ICITS 2011, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer-Verlag, vol. 6673, pp. 163–180, 2011, Full Version available from

The goal of Multi-Party Computation (MPC) is to perform an arbitrary computation in a distributed, private, and fault-tolerant way. For this purpose, a fixed set of n parties runs a protocol that tolerates an adversary corrupting a subset of the participating parties, and still preserves certain security guarantees. Most MPC protocols provide security guarantees in an all-or-nothing fashion. In this paper, we provide the first treatment of MPC with graceful degradation of both security and corruptions. First of all, our protocols provide graceful degradation of security, i.e., different security guarantees depending on the actual number of corrupted parties: the more corruptions, the weaker the security guarantee. We consider all security properties generally discussed in the literature (secrecy, correctness, robustness, fairness, and agreement on abort). Furthermore, the protocols provide graceful degradation with respect to the corruption type, by distinguishing fully honest parties, passively corrupted parties, and actively corrupted parties. Security can be maintained against more passive corruptions than is possible for active corruptions. We focus on perfect security, and prove exact bounds for which MPC with graceful degradation of security and corruptions is possible for both threshold and general adversaries. Furthermore, we provide protocols that meet these bounds. This strictly generalizes known results on hybrid security and mixed adversaries.

BibTeX Citation

    author       = {Martin Hirt and Christoph Lucas and Ueli Maurer and Dominik Raub},
    title        = {Graceful Degradation in Multi-Party Computation},
    editor       = {Serge Fehr},
    booktitle    = {The 5th International Conference on Information Theoretic Security - ICITS 2011},
    pages        = {163--180},
    series       = {Lecture Notes in Computer Science},
    volume       = {6673},
    year         = {2011},
    note         = {Full Version available from},
    publisher    = {Springer-Verlag},

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