Secure Computation: Part I

By Prof. Ashish Choudhury   |   IIIT Bangalore
Learners enrolled: 750   |  Exam registration: 49
This course will discuss about how using various cryptographic primitives, one can do computation on distributed and sensitive data, also known as secure multi-party computation (MPC), which is one of the most fundamental problems in cryptography as well as distributed computing.

The need for distributed computation on private data arises in several real-world applications that require computations involving sensitive data from two or more mutually distrusting entities. Consider the following example, which is one of the latest applications of secure computation:  The Earth is orbited by thousands of man-made satellites and several thousands of orbital debris. The growing number of satellites and space debris orbiting the planet increases the danger of collisions. And this is not a hypothetical scenario, as several such “high-profile” collisions have been reported in the recent past. Given the expensive cost of satellites, the host countries would like to avoid collision. A collision can only be predicted if the detailed orbit information of the individual satellites is known.  However, such information can be highly sensitive and in fact, it can even be a national secret.  So, what is needed here is a way to determine whether two satellites are about to clash with each other based on the detailed locations of the satellites, but without the need of disclosing the locations of the satellites to other host countries.

Secure MPC models the above and several such applications that make simultaneous demands for the privacy and usability of sensitive data. Other examples include secure e-voting, secure e-auction, secure signal-processing, secure bioinformatics, secure biometrics, secure machine-learning, secure outsourcing, privacy-preserving data mining, to name a few.

INTENDED AUDIENCE  :  The course is intended for any student from the computer science and Mathematics discipline
PREREQUISITES  :  The participant should have done a basic course on Cryptography (such as the Foundations of Cryptography course available on NPTEL) and a basic course on Discrete Mathematics
Course Status : Ongoing
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Foundations of Computing
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 22 Jan 2024
End Date : 12 Apr 2024
Enrollment Ends : 05 Feb 2024
Exam Registration Ends : 16 Feb 2024
Exam Date : 20 Apr 2024 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Secure Computation: motivation and real-world examples, various dimensions, recalling relevant topics from abstract algebra (groups, rings, fields) and cryptography 
Week 2: Secret sharing (motivation, definition and applications), Shamir secret-sharing, additive secret-sharing, replicated secret-sharing 
Week 3: Linear secret-sharing, general secret-sharing, secure message transmission (SMT) 
Week 4: BenOr-Goldwasser-Wigderson (BGW) protocol: security proof and detailed analysis 
Week 5: Degree-Reduction problem and various solutions, efficient protocols for evaluating multiplication gates, MPC in the pre-processing model
Week 6: Perfectly-secure MPC tolerating general adversaries, perfectly-secure MPC for small number of parties (the case of secure 3PC)
Week 7: Goldreich-Micali-Wigderson (GMW) protocol: security proof and detailed analysis, Oblivious transfer (OT) 
Week 8Construction of OT protocols from various cryptographic assumptions, GMW protocol in the pre-processing model
Week 9: OT extension, Yao’s protocol for secure 2-party computation
Week 10Various optimizations of Yao’s 2PC protocol
Week 11Mixed-world MPC protocols: The case of 2 PC
Week 12: Mixed-world 2PC protocols in the ABY framework

Books and references

We will follow the following book for the whole course. The book has a detailed explanation of each and every topic covered in the course, as well as several worked-out examples.  Interested participants who want to learn more about this topic, are strongly encouraged to get a copy of the book.
  • Secure Multi-Party Computation Against Passive Adversaries by Ashish Choudhury and Arpita Patra (Synthesis Lectures on Distributed Computing Theory) 1st ed. 2022 Edition
The book can be purchased from Springer's site
The book can be also purchased from Amazon

Instructor bio

Prof. Ashish Choudhury

IIIT Bangalore
Dr. Ashish Choudhury is currently an Associate Professor at IIIT Bangalore. He did his MS and PhD in Computer science from IIT Madras, followed by postdoc at ISI Kolkata and University of Bristol. His research work is focused on the foundation of cryptographic protocols for real-world problems. His current projects aim to design efficient protocols in the asynchronous network model which can be realized in practice. In general he is interested in secure distributed computing and all areas of theoretical computer science.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 
20 April 2024 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIIT Bangalore. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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