Journal of Computer and System Sciences

New hash functions and their use in authentication and set equality

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In this paper we exhibit several new classes of hash functions with certain desirable properties, and introduce two novel applications for hashing which make use of these functions. One class contains a small number of functions, yet is almost universal2. If the functions hash n-bit long names into m-bit indices, then specifying a member of the class requires only O((m + log2log2(n)) · log2(n)) bits as compared to O(n) bits for earlier techniques. For long names, this is about a factor of m larger than the lower bound of m + log2n - log2m bits. An application of this class is a provably secure authentication technique for sending messages over insecure lines. A second class of functions satisfies a much stronger property than universal2. We present the application of testing sets for equality. The authentication technique allows the receiver to be certain that a message is genuine. An "enemy"-even one with infinite computer resources-cannot forge or modify a message without detection. The set equality technique allows operations including "add member to set," "delete member from set" and "test two sets for equality" to be performed in expected constant time and with less than a specified probability of error. © 1981.


01 Jan 1981


Journal of Computer and System Sciences