Preface to IACR Theory of Cryptography (TCC) 2016-B

The 14th Theory of Cryptography Conference (TCC 2016-B) was held October 31 to November 3, 2016, at the Beijing Friendship Hotel in Beijing, China. It was sponsored by the International Association for Cryptographic Research (IACR) and organized in cooperation with State Key Laboratory of Information Security at the Institute of Information Engineering of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The general chair was Dongdai Lin, and the honorary chair was Andrew Chi-Chih Yao.

The conference received 113 submissions, of which the Program Committee (PC) selected 45 for presentation (with three pairs of papers sharing a single presentation slot per pair). Of these, there were four whose authors were all students at the time of submission. The committee selected "Simulating Auxiliary Inputs, Revisited" by Maciej Skórski for the Best Student Paper award. Each submission was reviewed by at least three PC members, often more. The 25 PC members, all top researchers in our field, were helped by 154 external reviewers, who were consulted when appropriate. These proceedings consist of the revised version of the 45 accepted papers. The revisions were not reviewed, and the authors bear full responsibility for the content of their papers.

As in previous years, we used Shai Halevi's excellent web-review software, and are extremely grateful to him for writing it, and for providing fast and reliable technical support whenever we had any questions. Based on the experience from the last two years, we used the interaction feature supported by the review software, where PC members may directly and anonymously interact with authors. The feature allowed the PC to ask specific technical questions that arose during the review process, for example about suspected bugs. Authors were prompt and extremely helpful in their replies. We hope that it will continue to be used in the future.

This was the third year where TCC presented the Test of Time Award to an outstanding paper that was published at TCC at least eight years ago, making a significant contribution to the theory of cryptography, preferably with influence also in other areas of cryptography, theory, and beyond. The Test of Time Award Committee consisted of Tal Rabin (chair), Yuval Ishai, Daniele Micciancio and Jesper Nielsen. They selected "Indifferentiability, Impossibility Results on Reductions, and Applications to the Random Oracle Methodology" by Ueli Maurer, Renato Renner, and Clemens Holenstein - which appeared in TCC 2004, the first edition of the conference - for introducing indifferentiability, a security notion that had "significant impact on both the theory of cryptography and the design of practical cryptosystems." Sadly, Clemens Holenstein passed away in 2012. He is survived by his wife and two sons. Maurer and Renner accepted the award on his behalf. The authors delivered a talk in a special session at TCC 2016-B. An invited paper by them, which was not refereed, is included in these proceedings.

The conference featured two other invited talks, by Allison Bishop and Srini Devadas. In addition to regular papers and invited events, there was a rump session featuring short talks by attendees.

We are greatly indebted to many people who were involved in making TCC 2016-B a success. First of all, our sincere thanks to the most important contributors: all the authors who submitted papers to the conference. There were many more good submissions than we had space to accept. We would like to thank the PC members for their hard work, dedication, and diligence in reviewing the papers, verifying their correctness, and discussing their merits in depth. We are also thankful to the external reviewers for their volunteered hard work in reviewing papers and providing valuable expert feedback in response to specific queries. For running the conference itself, we are very grateful to Dongdai and the rest of the local organizing committee. Finally, we are grateful to the TCC Steering Committee, and especially Shai Halevi, for guidance and advice, as well as to the entire thriving and vibrant theoretical cryptography community. TCC exists for and because of that community, and we are proud to be a part of it.

November 2016                             Martin Hirt and Adam Smith
                                              TCC 2016-B Program Chairs