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Multipartite secret sharing schemes are those having a multipartite access structure, in which the set of participants is divided into several parts and all participants in the same part play an equivalent role. In this paper, the characterization of ideal multipartite access structures is studied with all generality. The results are based on the well-known connections between ideal secret sharing schemes and matroids and on the introduction of a new combinatorial tool in secret sharing, integer polymatroids.
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