Encoding in Affine Coordinates

We can write the Ristretto encoding/decoding procedure in affine coordinates, before describing optimized formulas to and from projective coordinates.


On input \( (x,y) \in [2](\mathcal E)\), a representative for a coset in \( [2](\mathcal E) / \mathcal E[4] \):

  1. Check if \( xy \) is negative or \( x = 0 \); if so, torque the point by setting \( (x,y) \gets (x,y) + Q_4 \), where \(Q_4\) is a \(4\)-torsion point.

  2. Check if \(x\) is negative or \( y = -1 \); if so, set \( (x,y) \gets (x,y) + (0,-1) = (-x, -y) \).

  3. Compute $$ s = +\sqrt {(-a) \frac {1 - y} {1 + y} }, $$ choosing the positive square root.

The output is then the (canonical) byte-encoding of \(s\).

If \(\mathcal E\) has cofactor \(4\), we skip the first step, since our input already represents a coset in \( [2](\mathcal E) / \mathcal E[2] \).

Interpreting the Encoding Procedure

How does this procedure correspond to the description involving \( \theta \)?

The first step lifts from \( \mathcal E / \mathcal E[4] \) to \(\mathcal E / \mathcal E[2]\). To understand steps 2 and 3, notice that the \(y\)-coordinate of \(\theta(s,t)\) is $$ y = \frac {1 + as^2}{1 - as^2}, $$ so that the \(s\)-coordinate of \(\theta^{-1}(x,y)\) has $$ s^2 = (-a)\frac {1-y}{1+y}. $$ Since $$ x = \frac 1 {\sqrt {ad - 1}} \frac {2s} {t}, $$ we also have $$ \frac s t = x \frac {\sqrt {ad-1}} 2, $$ so that the sign of \(s/t\) is determined by the sign of \(x\).

Recall that to choose a canonical representative of \( (s,t) + \mathcal J[2] \), it's sufficient to make two sign choices: the sign of \(s\) and the sign of \(s/t\). Step 2 determines the sign of \(s/t\), while step 3 computes \(s\) and determines its sign (by choosing the positive square root). Finally, the check that \(y \neq -1\) prevents division-by-zero when encoding the identity. If the inverse square root function returns \(0\), this check falls out of the optimized formulas for projective coordinates.


On input s_bytes, decoding proceeds as follows:

  1. Decode s_bytes to \(s\); reject if s_bytes is not the canonical encoding of \(s\).

  2. Check whether \(s\) is negative; if so, reject.

  3. Compute $$ y \gets \frac {1 + as^2}{1 - as^2}. $$

  4. Compute $$ x \gets +\sqrt{ \frac{4s^2} {ad(1+as^2)^2 - (1-as^2)^2}}, $$ choosing the positive square root, or reject if the square root does not exist.

  5. Check whether \(xy\) is negative or \(y = 0\); if so, reject.