Probabilistic Proof Systems: A Primer

by Oded Goldreich

Various types of probabilistic proof systems have played a central role in the development of computer science in the last couple of decades. These proof systems deviate from the traditional concept of a proof by introducing randomization and interaction into the verification process. Probabilistic proof systems carry an error probability (which is explicitly bounded and can be decreased by repetitions), but they offer various advantages over deterministic proof systems.

This primer concentrates on three types of probabilistic proof systems: interactive proofs, zero-knowledge proofs, and probabilistically checkable proofs (PCP). Surveying the basic results regarding these proof systems, the primer stresses the essential role of randomness in each of them.

Material available on-line

Related Material available on-line

A webpage on Probabilistic Proof Systems, including access to alternative expositions and papers. See also a webpage on Computational Complexity, including access to drafts of a recent book.

Back to the Probabilistic Proof Systems page or to Oded Goldreich's homepage.