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Breaking substitution cyphers using stochastic automata

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2 Author(s)
B. J. Oommen ; Sch. of Comput. Sci., Carleton Univ., Ottawa, Ont., Canada ; J. R. Zgierski

Let Λ be a finite plaintext alphabet and V be a cypher alphabet with the same cardinality as Λ. In all one-to-one substitution cyphers, there exists the property that each element in V maps onto exactly one element in Λ and vice versa. This mapping of V onto Λ is represented by a function T*, which maps any vV onto some λ∈Λ (i.e., T*(v)=λ). The problem of learning the mapping of T* (or its inverse (T *)-1) by processing a sequence of cypher text is discussed. The fastest reported method to achieve this is a relaxation scheme that utilizes the statistical information contained in the unigrams and trigrams of the plaintext language. A new learning automaton solution to the problem called the cypher learning automaton (CLA) is given. The proposed scheme is fast, and the advantages of the scheme in terms of time and space requirements over the relaxation method have been listed. Simulation results comparing both cypher-breaking techniques are presented

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 2 )