Revision #1 Authors: Manik Dhar, Zeev Dvir

Accepted on: 15th September 2022 18:25

Downloads: 38

Keywords:

We show that a randomly chosen linear map over a finite field gives a good hash function in the $\ell_\infty$ sense. More concretely, consider a set $S \subset \mathbb{F}_q^n$ and a randomly chosen linear map $L : \mathbb{F}_q^n \to \mathbb{F}_q^t$ with $q^t$ taken to be sufficiently smaller than $ |S|$. Let $U_S$ denote a random variable distributed uniformly on $S$. Our main theorem shows that, with high probability over the choice of $L$, the random variable $L(U_S)$ is close to uniform in the $\ell_\infty$ norm. In other words, {\em every} element in the range $\mathbb{F}_q^t$ has about the same number of elements in $S$ mapped to it. This complements the widely-used Leftover Hash Lemma (LHL) which proves the analog statement under the statistical, or $\ell_1$, distance (for a richer class of functions) as well as prior work on the expected largest 'bucket size' in linear hash functions [ADMPT99]. By known bounds from the load balancing literature [RS98], our results are tight and show that linear functions hash as well as truly random function up to a constant factor in the entropy loss. Our proof leverages a connection between linear hashing and the finite field Kakeya problem and extends some of the tools developed in this area, in particular the polynomial method.

Comparison with truly random functions, discussion of other universal hash functions, and discussion of ORW 22 added.

We show that a randomly chosen linear map over a finite field gives a good hash function in the $\ell_\infty$ sense. More concretely, consider a set $S \subset \mathbb{F}_q^n$ and a randomly chosen linear map $L : \mathbb{F}_q^n \to \mathbb{F}_q^t$ with $q^t$ taken to be sufficiently smaller than $|S|$. Let $U_S$ denote a random variable distributed uniformly on $S$. Our main theorem shows that, with high probability over the choice of $L$, the random variable $L(U_S)$ is close to uniform in the $\ell_\infty$ norm. In other words, every element in the range $\mathbb{F}_q^t$ has about the same number of elements in $S$ mapped to it. This complements the widely-used Leftover Hash Lemma (LHL) which proves the analog statement under the statistical, or $\ell_1$, distance (for a richer class of functions) as well as prior work on the expected largest 'bucket size' in linear hash functions [ADMPT99]. Our proof leverages a connection between linear hashing and the finite field Kakeya problem and extends some of the tools developed in this area, in particular the polynomial method.