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Finite Non-associative Algebras

in Cryptography
A talk presented at the 2016 SACNAS National
Algebra: Much More than Arithmetic

Minerva Cordero, PhD

University of Texas at Arlington
14 October 2016

noun cryptography \krip-t-gr-f\
Simple Definition of cryptography
: the process of writing or reading secret
messages or codes

noun cryptology \krip-t-l-j\
Definition of cryptology
: the scientific study of cryptography
and cryptanalysis

Examples: (

Review: Fields
field is a set together with two binary
operations , such that:
is a commutative group
is a commutative group
Notice that in a field both the addition
and the multiplication are associative: so
for we have

Examples: (, (, ,)

Example: A Non-associative

A quasigroup is a set of objects with a

multiplication table described by a Latin
square of size using distinct symbols.

Notice that in a Latin square each

of the symbols appears once
and only once in each row and in
each column.

For n>=5 there are a very large number of

Latin squares and therefore of quasigroups.

Finite quasigroups

the number of distinct Latin squares is

known to be .
How many groups of order 10 exist?

For , the exact number of possible

quasigroups is unknown.
How many groups of order 11 exist?

For the number of inequivalent quasigroups is

estimated to be about

A property of Quasigroups

a Latin square each row and each column is a
permutation of the elements of the quasigroup.
Hence, for each pair of elements of the quasigroup
the equation has exactly one solution for .
Similarly, for each pair the equation has exactly
one solution
If for each element there exists another element
such that for all in the quasigroup, then is said to
be a CI-quasigroup.
The relation between and is a permutation; we
denote it by

Encryption system based on crossed inverse quasigroups

Golomb, Welch, Denes, 2000 (Patent # US 7280663B1)

Uses a non-trivial, non-group CI-quasigroup as a basis

for the encryption.

Let be any commutative group of n elements, where
is a composite number, say , where and are integers
Define a new operation on the elements of by the
relation . Then the elements of with the operation
form a CI- quasigroup, where the right crossed inverse
of the element is , where

Encryption system based on crossed inverse quasigroups

Golomb, Welch, Denes, 2000 (Patent # US 7280663B1)

The CI-permutation for this quasigroup will depend on

which commutative group is used.

The quasigroup is distributed as the public part of the
key. The CI-permutation is kept secret.

For security, the quasigroup should have order at

least and often much larger.

FIRST EXAMPLE Suppose the sender wishes

The CI-permutation for this quasigroup is

to send 1 as the message

and use encipher key 5.
Then from the table entry
with row index 1 and
column index 5, we obtain
so the ciphertext is . The
sender sends and .
Now the recipient applies
the ci-permutation to the
encipher key, 5, to get .
The recipient then
computes .
This is the entry with row
index 6 and column index
This entry is which is the
original message.

An Example of a Quasigroup with an Arithmetic

Two primes, and are chosen and the product, , is formed.
The integers modulo 33 fall into two sets, those without 3 or
11 as factors and those that are multiples of 3 or 11 or both.
The former set forms a group, under multiplication modulo
For example: while neither nor are factors of 4, 10, or 7.
The 20 elements of this group are
The CI-quasigroup also has size 20, and consists of the
numbers from 1 to 20, with an operation computed from a
non-associative, non-commutative use of the arithmetic of the
group as described below.
For , let where is computed as follows:

An Example of a Quasigroup with an Arithmetic

Two CI-quasigroup elements, are mapped to the group by a
function, Quasi2Group().
In the group, these elements are combined by the formula,
Then is mapped back to the CI-quasigroup by a function
=Group2Quasi ().
Hence to find such that we compute:

The function Group2Quasi(), is simply
where the symbol, , indicates the integer part of a number.
A formula for the function Quasi2Group(x) is more cumbersome.
Let .
Then for each , and is tested to see if
=Group2Quasi ()
Exactly one value of will succeed and the corresponding will
be the correct value of Quasi2Group().
The CI-permutation for this quasigroup is obtained by mapping the
elements to the group, raising to the 17 power and mapping back
to the CI-quasigroup.

Suppose a message component is M=3 and the corresponding key
component is . The ciphertext component is
Begin by determining the group elements corresponding to 3 and 2
using the function () .
For 3, g*=3 and it is found that =1.
For 2, g*=2 and =0. So the group elements are 4 and 2.
Next compute 43 mod 33=31 and 27 mod 33=29.
Multiplying 3128 mod 33=8.
Finally (8)=8[8/3] [8/11] =82=6
The result is and the ciphertext component is .
The decipherment proceeds as follows:
The computation is , where and .
To compute , map to (, and compute
Then and the decipherment is , which can be computed using the
above algorithm and yields 3, the original value of M.

Other unconventional algebraic systems:


Recall that in a field, the elements form a commutative group with

respect to a first operation, called addition. If the zero element
is removed, the remaining elements form a commutative group
with respect to a second operation, called multiplication.
This is the conventional arithmetic that underlies almost all the
cryptographic systems currently in use.
In a neofield, the two commutative groups of a field are replaced
by quasi-groups.
If one of these quasigroups is a CI-quasigroup, the neofield is
called an xip-neofield.
Encryption schemes even more elaborate that those already
described, but using the same principles, can be based on xipneofields.

Another non-associative algebra:

(finite) semifield is a non-associative algebra consisting of a set S

with two operations + and , such that

(S,+) is an abelian group,

multiplication is distributive on both the left and the right,
there exists a multiplicative identity element, and
There are no zero divisors: implies .

The order of a semifield is for some prime number and some positive
integer .
The class I constructed and studied is the class of p-primitive
semifields of order p4.
I conducted an exhaustive computer search to obtain all the semifields
of order . These semifields of order 81 have points and lines. I studied
these structures and classified them.

Semifields of order p4

(Cordero): There are exactly

1 ( p 2)

non isomorphic semifields of order p4 for

each prime number p>2.
Cardinali, Trombetti, and Polverino (2006)
Abstract: A classification of semifields of order is
given. For prime, this proves the conjecture stated
by Cordero in (10).