Software Protection and Simulation on Oblivious RAMs

TitleSoftware Protection and Simulation on Oblivious RAMs
Publication TypeTechnical Report
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsGoldreich, O., & Ostrovsky R.
Other Numbers860

Software protection is one of the most important issues concerning computer practice. There exist many heuristics and ad-hoc methods for protection, but the problem as a whole has not received the theoretical treatment it deserves. In this paper we provide theoretical treatment of software protection. We reduce the problem of software protection to the problem of efficient simulation on oblivious RAM.A machine is oblivious if the sequence in which it accesses memory locations is equivalent for any two inputs with the same running time. For example, an oblivious Turing Machine is one for which the movement of the heads on the tapes is identical for each computation. (Thus, it is independent of the actual input.) What is the slowdown in the running time of any machine, if it is required to be oblivious? In 1979 Pippenger and Fischer showed how a two-tape oblivious Turing Machine can simulate, on-line, a one-tape Turing Machine, with a logarithmic slowdown in the running time. We show an analogue result for the random-access machine (RAM) model of computation. In particular, we show how to do an on-line simulation of an arbitrary RAM input by a probabilistic oblivious RAM with a poly-logarithmic slowdown in the running time. On the other hand, we show that a logarithmic slowdown is a lower bound.

Bibliographic Notes

ICSI Technical Report TR-93-072

Abbreviated Authors

O. Goldreich and R. Ostrovsky

ICSI Publication Type

Technical Report