About "Applied Cryptography Research: A Board" (ACrab)

What is the purpose of this site?

This site is intended as a resource for members of the applied cryptography research community to learn about, share, and discuss new research papers. We created this site because our particular sub-area is increasingly spread over a large number of cryptography and security conferences, each of which is growing larger. While this is wonderful for the security and cryptography fields as a whole, the inevitable dilution makes it more difficult for applied cryptographers to discover relevant new papers in our sub-area. We hope that this site can help.

Whats up with the name?

This site is a fork of lobste.rs, a link aggregator/message board for all things technology related. We chose a name that spoke to the purpose of this site, while still pointing back to the parent project.

Where does the content come from?

To launch this project, the students of the Johns Hopkins ARC laboratory manually inserted the most recent three years of applied cryptography conference publications (across CRYPTO, Eurocrypt, Oakland, CCS, Usenix and NDSS). We have also included approximately one year of ePrint publications that seem to fit the theme. We will continue to add new publications on a weekly basis going forward.
Moving forward, we hope that the research community will upload links to their own work. To limit the amount of spam on the website, we are limiting posting only to people who have accounts on ACRAB. To get an account, just send an email to acrab@jhu.edu and we will send you an invite! Once logged in, links can be submitted here.
This choice of conferences — and the definition of “applied cryptography” — is arbitrary. We’re feeling our way as we go! If you feel that there’s a paper that should be included in the collection, you can submit it here. Our hope is that someday this site will become community-managed, but until that time we will have to settle for this imperfect process.

How do I add my own paper to the collection?

Go here and submit a link plus abstract. The link will need to be to an open (non-paywalled) version. If you are not an author and cannot provide an open access link, submit what you have and we will try to find one and/or write to the authors for one. (Note: to mitigate spam problems you will need to make an account, which is a painless process, and the paper will not appear until a moderator approves it.)

How am I supposed to make sense of this huge scrolling list of papers?

The default main page display shows all papers, ordered by the date of addition to the collection. A more reasonable place to start is on the topics overview page, which allows you to find only works on a specific topic (e.g., MPC, blockchain, etc.) for more advanced users, there is a “tags” page that displays a list of all tags organized by popularity. The software allows complex search queries over many tags.

You are missing [famous paper X] and [famous paper Y] and [my paper]; is this thing a joke?

As discussed above, our initial population process was very sparse. We hope this collection will grow over time, and will eventually incorporate many older and more famous works! If you think an important reference is missing, submit it for addition here. (You don’t need to be an author.)

Am I expected to comment on other authors’ papers?

No. The “comments” capability is a vestige from the underlying lobste.rs system. We adopted this software mainly because of its expansive tagging capabilities. We hope that it will be used to productive effect; if not, we will turn it off.

I’m not sure if a paper is “applied” enough for this board. What are the criteria?

Our approach is as follows: would this be accepted at TCC? If not, it’s welcome here. Now obviously that’s just a joke. If you think your paper is on an applied topic, we’re going to take your word for it. Please submit it to us!

This is a stupid, unnecessary project that will tear the cryptography community apart! You should be ashamed.

First off, this isn’t really a question. But more seriously, our goal is to bring communities together, not tear them apart. Right now there is good applied cryptography work happening across multiple communities that don’t really communicate as well as they should. This board is nothing more than a way to highlight some of that work, and bring it to the attention of other researchers. We hope it will have a positive effect.