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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 193426, 13 pages
Review Article

A Survey of Research Progress and Development Tendency of Attribute-Based Encryption

1State Key Laboratory of Integrated Services Networks, Xidian University, Xi’an 710071, China
2School of Life Science and Technology, Xidian University, Xi’an 710071, China
3Department of Computer Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
4Department of Computer Science, Communication University of China, Beijing 100024, China

Received 22 January 2014; Accepted 11 June 2014; Published 2 July 2014

Academic Editor: Gloria Bordogna

Copyright © 2014 Liaojun Pang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


With the development of cryptography, the attribute-based encryption (ABE) draws widespread attention of the researchers in recent years. The ABE scheme, which belongs to the public key encryption mechanism, takes attributes as public key and associates them with the ciphertext or the user’s secret key. It is an efficient way to solve open problems in access control scenarios, for example, how to provide data confidentiality and expressive access control at the same time. In this paper, we survey the basic ABE scheme and its two variants: the key-policy ABE (KP-ABE) scheme and the ciphertext-policy ABE (CP-ABE) scheme. We also pay attention to other researches relating to the ABE schemes, including multiauthority, user/attribute revocation, accountability, and proxy reencryption, with an extensive comparison of their functionality and performance. Finally, possible future works and some conclusions are pointed out.