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Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2015 12:59:53 +0200
From: Dmitry Khovratovich <>
To: "" <>
Subject: Re: [PHC] Panel: Please require the finalists to help with benchmarks

On Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 3:17 AM, Bill Cox <> wrote:
> I like this approach, though I think for benchmarking we can just have the
> authors choose the parameters.  I agree with Dmitry that parameters should
> typically not be chosen by the end-user, though I think the number of
> rounds, number of lanes, and other tunable parameters could be selected
> based on the number of threads the user allows, and the total memory to be
> hashed.  For benchmarking, authors should pick minimum t_cost they feel is
> secure, and a number of rounds that give the best memory*time defense with
> good compute time hardness.

We could try to develop several typical scenarios for benchmarking.
Maybe people from industry could contribute with usecases.

For example:
Scenario 1 (cryptocurrency mining on x86 desktop):
  maximum time: 1 second
  maximum memory: 4 GB
  maximum threads: unlimited

Scenario 2 (password-based key derivation on x86 desktop):
  maximum time: 5 seconds
  maximum memory: 2 GB
  maximum threads: unlimited

Scenario 3 (password hashing on an authentication server):
 maximum time: 0.1 seconds
  maximum memory: 500 MB
  maximum threads: 2

The measurements are done on the following metrics (the more the better)
  metric 1: amount of memory filled
  metric 2 to maximize: total bandwidth
  metric 3 to maximize: total amount of computations, excluding memory
access (e.g., total count of MUL/ADD/XOR operations, or taken with
weights equal to their Haswell (for example) latencies)
  metric 4 to maximize: computational latency (hardening), i.e. the
length of the longest chain of computations expressed as above.

The designers then select 1 or more instances  (parameter sets) of
their scheme, which compete in all scenarios. Then we look at the
rankings. It'd be great to have a single instance that perform well in
all scenarios (not necessarily being the winner in any).

Of course, we are looking for more metrics and more scenarios.

Dmitry Khovratovich

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