On the Two-sided Permutation Inversion Problem

TitleOn the Two-sided Permutation Inversion Problem
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsAlagic, G, Bai, C, Poremba, A, Shi, K
Date Published6/23/2023

In the permutation inversion problem, the task is to find the preimage of some challenge value, given oracle access to the permutation. This is a fundamental problem in query complexity, and appears in many contexts, particularly cryptography. In this work, we examine the setting in which the oracle allows for quantum queries to both the forward and the inverse direction of the permutation -- except that the challenge value cannot be submitted to the latter. Within that setting, we consider two options for the inversion algorithm: whether it can get quantum advice about the permutation, and whether it must produce the entire preimage (search) or only the first bit (decision). We prove several theorems connecting the hardness of the resulting variations of the inversion problem, and establish a number of lower bounds. Our results indicate that, perhaps surprisingly, the inversion problem does not become significantly easier when the adversary is granted oracle access to the inverse, provided it cannot query the challenge itself.