Seminar: User-Private Information Retrieval and Generalised Quadrangles

User-Private Information Retrieval and Generalised Quadrangles

Padraig Ó Catháin,

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date: Friday 13th September
Time: 3-4pm (Talk & Q/A)
Venue: Building 8 Level 9 Room 66 (AGR) RMIT City campus

The seminar will be followed by snacks and drinks
All students, staff and visitors are welcome

ABSTRACT:  In a User-Private Information Retrieval (UPIR) scheme, a network of users collaborate to maintain privacy while accessing a non-secure database. Essential features of the scheme are encoded in an incidence structure. The original scheme was proposed by Stokes and Bras Amores, based on projective planes. Further schemes, based on symmetric designs, were investigated by Swanson and Stinson.

In this talk, I will discuss UPIR schemes, and describe joint work carried out with Oliver Gnilke, Marcus Greferath, Camilla Hollanti, Guillermo Nunez Ponasso and Eric Swartz. We proposed the use of Generalised Quadrangles, which lead to schemes substantially more secure against eavesdropping than previous suggestions. The optimal choice of incidence structure for UPIR systems remains unknown – I will finish the talk with some open questions.

BIOGRAPHY: Padraig Ó Catháin studied at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where he completed a PhD under the supervision of Prof Dane Flannery in 2012. He was a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Queensland, Monash University and Aalto University before taking a tenure-track position at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2016. His research interests include cocyclic Hadamard matrices, applications of algebra in design theory and applications of design theory in communications systems.