Influential Crypto Papers

This webpage is an attempt to assemble a ranking of top-cited papers from the area of cryptography. The ranking is automatically created based on citations of papers published at top cryptography conferences. In particular, the ranking is based on the two tier-1 conferences

and the following (likely incomplete) list of tier-2 conferences

The citations for each paper are determined by crawling the DBLP service and Google Scholar. As both services limit crawling activity, the update interval for the ranking is large, such that citation counts change on average every two months.

☞ Interested in computer security? A similar ranking of security papers is available here.

Top of the Notch

Top-cited papers from 1982 to 2018 ⌄

  1. 1
    Taher El Gamal:
    A Public Key Cryptosystem and a Signature Scheme Based on Discrete Logarithms.
    International Cryptology Conference (CRYPTO), 1984
    9297 cites at Google Scholar
    1405% above average of year
    Last visited: Mar-2019
    Paper: DOI
  2. 2
    Dan Boneh and Matthew K. Franklin:
    Identity-Based Encryption from the Weil Pairing.
    International Cryptology Conference (CRYPTO), 2001
    8586 cites at Google Scholar
    2846% above average of year
    Last visited: Feb-2019
    Paper: DOI
  3. 3
    Adi Shamir:
    Identity-Based Cryptosystems and Signature Schemes.
    International Cryptology Conference (CRYPTO), 1984
    7711 cites at Google Scholar
    1148% above average of year
    Last visited: Feb-2019
    Paper: DOI
  4. 4
    Paul C. Kocher, Joshua Jaffe, and Benjamin Jun:
    Differential Power Analysis.
    International Cryptology Conference (CRYPTO), 1999
    7347 cites at Google Scholar
    2877% above average of year
    Last visited: Feb-2019
    Paper: DOI
  5. 5
    Pascal Paillier:
    Public-Key Cryptosystems Based on Composite Degree Residuosity Classes.
    Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques (EUROCRYPT), 1999
    5309 cites at Google Scholar
    2051% above average of year
    Last visited: Mar-2019
    Paper: DOI

→  Check out the top-100 ranking

Absolute citations are not necessarily a good indicator for the impact of a paper, as the number of citations usually grows with the age of a paper. The following list shows an alternative ranking, where the citations are normalized by the age of each paper.

Top-cited papers normalized by age ⌄

  1. 1
    Paul C. Kocher, Joshua Jaffe, and Benjamin Jun:
    Differential Power Analysis.
    International Cryptology Conference (CRYPTO), 1999
    7347 cites at Google Scholar
    2877% above average of year
    Last visited: Feb-2019
    Paper: DOI
  2. 2
    Dan Boneh and Matthew K. Franklin:
    Identity-Based Encryption from the Weil Pairing.
    International Cryptology Conference (CRYPTO), 2001
    8586 cites at Google Scholar
    2846% above average of year
    Last visited: Feb-2019
    Paper: DOI
  3. 3
    Eli Biham and Adi Shamir:
    Differential Cryptanalysis of DES-like Cryptosystems.
    International Cryptology Conference (CRYPTO), 1990
    3145 cites at Google Scholar
    2497% above average of year
    Last visited: Apr-2019
    Paper: DOI
  4. 4
    Cynthia Dwork, Frank McSherry, Kobbi Nissim, and Adam D. Smith:
    Calibrating Noise to Sensitivity in Private Data Analysis.
    Theory of Cryptography Conference (TCC), 2006
    2634 cites at Google Scholar
    2068% above average of year
    Last visited: Nov-2018
    Paper: DOI
  5. 5
    Pascal Paillier:
    Public-Key Cryptosystems Based on Composite Degree Residuosity Classes.
    Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques (EUROCRYPT), 1999
    5309 cites at Google Scholar
    2051% above average of year
    Last visited: Mar-2019
    Paper: DOI

→  Check out the normalized top-100 ranking

The Last Decades

If you are interested in a more detailed breakdown of top-cited papers over time, you can find can find rankings for the last decades here:

1980 – 1990
1990 – 2000
2000 – 2010
2010 – now

Limitations

As with any ranking, the presented results do not necessarily reflect the true impact of a paper. Citations are only one metric to assess the reception of a paper and are insufficient to characterize all aspects contributing to the relevance of scientific work. Moreover, the underlying data may contain errors or missing information. Errare humanum est.

Contact

If you have questions, comments, complains, or ideas how to improve this webpage, feel free to send an email to Konrad Rieck. Alternatively, you can contact me on Twitter.