### Overview: what is Pepper?

Pepper is an academic research project whose goal is to make verified computation practical. By verified computation (which is sometimes also called “verifiable computation”), we mean a system that implements the following picture:

One motivation is *cloud computing* (more
generally, *third-party computing*).
These environments bring:

- Issues of
*scale*: with hundreds of thousands or millions of machines, correct and unfailing execution in all cases seems unlikely. - Issues of
*trust*: the computation “provider” and the “consumer” are different entities.

Goal: A system that is

**Comprehensive**-- the system makes no assumptions about the behavior and capabilities of the performing computer other than cryptographic hardness.**General-purpose**-- not specialized to a particular family of functions.**Practical**-- can be used for real problems.

Prior work does not meet all three of these properties.

We approach this problem using deep results in cryptography and complexity theory. Here is a high-level description of the foundations of our approach.