# How to invert matrix in finite field

I want to invert matrix $A$ in the finite field $\mathbb{F} = \mathbb{F}_2[x]/p(x)\mathbb{F}_2$ with $p(x)=x^8+x^4+x^3+x+1$. This finite field is used by the encryption scheme AES.

$A = \begin{pmatrix} x^6+x^4+x^2+x+1 & x^5+x^3+1 & x^5+x^2+1 \\ x^7+x^4+x & x^4+x & x^2+1 \\ x^6+x^4+x^3+1 & x^6+x^3+x & x^4+x^3 \end{pmatrix}$

For inverting $A$ I am supposed to use the Gaussian algorithm. The first step would be to divide the first row by its first entry, i.e. $x^6+x^4+x^2+x+1$.

How do I find the solution of such divisions, for example $(x^5+x^3+1)/(x^6+x^4+x^2+x+1)$. The finite field contains $2^8$ elements. Hence it is impossible for me to first calculate the multiplication table.

• Do you have to do it by hand? Dec 20, 2015 at 11:49
• Yes, I do. As this is Rijndael's finite field I suppose I can use some lookup tables, but I don't know how to make use of them to answer my question. They only provide multiplicative inverses, but do not help to do a division of two field elements.
– null
Dec 20, 2015 at 11:51
• Well if you have inverses, you have the division because multiplication isn't too bad. $(x^5 + x^3 + 1)*(x^6 + x^4 + x^2 + x + 1 )^{-1}$ Dec 20, 2015 at 11:56
• Good comment. I'll try it!
– null
Dec 20, 2015 at 12:09
• Unless you are aiming to implement this on a device that is extremely low on memory, you could (IMHO should) build logarithm tables converting the field multiplication and division to (modular) integer addition and subtraction. See this Q&A I prepared for referrals where I try to explain how to use discrete logarithm tables for field operations. Dec 20, 2015 at 16:58

As a Bézout relation is \begin{multline*} (x^7 + x^6 + x^4 + x^3 + x)(x^6 + x^4 + x^2 + x + 1) \\+(x^5 +x^4 + x^3 + x + 1)(x^8 + x^4 + x^3 + x + 1 ) =1 \end{multline*} one has in $\mathbf F_2[x]/(x^8 + x^4 + x^3 + x + 1 )$: $$(x^6 + x^4 + x^2 + x + 1)^{-1}=x^7 + x^6 + x^4 + x^3 + x.$$