University of Calgary

On Class Group Computations Using the Number Field Sieve

Abstract

The best practical algorithm for class group computations in imaginary quadratic number fields (such as group structure, class number, discrete logarithm computations) is a variant of the quadratic sieve factoring algorithm. Paradoxical as it sounds, the principles of the number field sieve, in a strict sense, could not be applied to number field computations, yet. In this article we give an indication of the obstructions. In particular, we first present fundamental core elements of a number field sieve for number field computations of which it is absolutely unknown how to design them in a useful way. Finally, we show that the existence of a number field sieve for number field computations with a running time asymptotics similar to that of the genuine number field sieve likely implies the existence of an algorithm for elliptic curve related computational problems with subexponential running time.
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