# Background

For a prime $p$ and a positive integer $n$ let $\mathbb {F} _{p^{n}}$ be the finite field with $p^{n}$ elements. Let $F$ be a map from the finite field to itself. Such function admits a unique representation as a polynomial of degree at most $p^{n}-1$ , i.e.

$F(x)=\sum _{j=0}^{p^{n}-1}a_{j}x^{j},a_{j}\in \mathbb {F} _{p^{n}}$ .

The function $F$ is

• linear if $F(x)=\sum _{j=0}^{n-1}a_{j}x^{p^{j}}$ ,
• affine if it is the sum of a linear function and a constant,
• DO (Dembowski-Ostrim) polynomial if $F(x)=\sum _{0\leq i\leq j ,
• quadratic if it is the sum of a DO polynomial and an affine function.

For $\delta$ a positive integer, the function $F$ is called differentially $\delta$ -uniform if for any pairs $a,b\in \mathbb {F} _{p^{n}}$ , with $a\neq 0$ , the equation $F(x+a)-F(x)=b$ admits at most $\delta$ solutions.

A function $F$ is called planar or perfect nonlinear (PN) if $\delta _{F}=1$ . Obviously such functions exist only for $p$ an odd prime. In the even case the smallest possible case for $\delta$ is two (APN function).

For planar function we have that the all the nonzero derivatives, $D_{a}F(x)=F(x+a)-F(x)$ , are permutations.

## Equivalence Relations

Two functions $F$ and $F'$ from $\mathbb {F} _{p^{n}}$ to itself are called:

• affine equivalent if $F'=A_{1}\circ F\circ A_{2}$ , where $A_{1},A_{2}$ are affine permutations;
• EA-equivalent (extended-affine) if $F'=F''+A$ , where $A$ is affine and $F''$ is afffine equivalent to $F$ ;
• CCZ-equivalent if there exists an affine permutation ${\mathcal {L}}$ of $\mathbb {F} _{p^{n}}\times \mathbb {F} _{p^{n}}$ such that ${\mathcal {L}}(G_{F})=G_{F'}$ , where $G_{F}=\lbrace (x,F(x)):x\in \mathbb {F} _{p^{n}}\rbrace$ .

CCZ-equivalence is the most general known equivalence relation for functions which preserves differential uniformity. Affine and EA-equivalence are its particular cases. For the case of quadratic planar functions the isotopic equivalence is more general than CCZ-equivalence, where two maps are isotopic equivalent if the corresponding presemifields are isotopic.

# On Presemifields and Semifields

A presemifield is a ring with left and right distributivity and with no zero divisor. A presemifield with a multiplicative identity is called a semifield. Any finite presemifield can be represented by $\mathbb {S} =(\mathbb {F} _{p^{n}},+,\star )$ , for $p$ a prime, $n$ a positive integer, $\mathbb {S} =(\mathbb {F} _{p^{n}},+)$ additive group and $x\star y$ multiplication linear in each variable. Every commutative presemifield can be transformed into a commutative semifield.

Two presemifields $\mathbb {S} _{1}=(\mathbb {F} _{p^{n}},+,\star )$ and $\mathbb {S} _{2}=(\mathbb {F} _{p^{n}},+,\circ )$ are called isotopic if there exist three linear permutations $T,M,N$ of $\mathbb {F} _{p^{n}}$ such that $T(x\star y)=M(x)\circ N(y)$ , for any $x,y\in \mathbb {F} _{p^{n}}$ . If $M=N$ then they are called strongly isotopic. Each commutative presemifields of odd order defines a planar DO polynomial and viceversa:

• given $\mathbb {S} =(\mathbb {F} _{p^{n}},+,\star )$ let $F_{\mathbb {S} }(x)={\frac {1}{2}}(x\star x)$ ;
• given $F$ let $\mathbb {S} _{F}=(\mathbb {F} _{p^{n}},+,\star )$ defined by $x\star y=F(x+y)-F(x)-F(y)$ .

Given $\mathbb {S} =(\mathbb {F} _{p^{n}},+,\star )$ a finite semifield, the subsets

$N_{l}(\mathbb {S} )=\{\alpha \in \mathbb {S} :(\alpha \star x)\star y=\alpha \star (x\star y)$ for all $x,y\in \mathbb {S} \}$ $N_{m}(\mathbb {S} )=\{\alpha \in \mathbb {S} :(x\star \alpha )\star y=x\star (\alpha \star y)$ for all $x,y\in \mathbb {S} \}$ $N_{r}(\mathbb {S} )=\{\alpha \in \mathbb {S} :(x\star y)\star \alpha =x\star (y\star \alpha )$ for all $x,y\in \mathbb {S} \}$ are called left, middle and right nucleus of $\mathbb {S}$ .

The set $N(\mathbb {S} )=N_{l}(\mathbb {S} )\cap N_{m}(\mathbb {S} )\cap N_{r}(\mathbb {S} )$ is called the nucleus. All these sets are finite field and, when $\mathbb {S}$ is commutative, $N_{l}(\mathbb {S} )=N_{r}(\mathbb {S} )\subseteq N_{m}(\mathbb {S} )$ . The order of the different nuclei are invariant under isotopism.

## Properties

Hence two quadratic planar functions $F,F'$ are isotopic equivalent if their corresponding presemifields are isotopic. Moreover, we have:

• $F,F'$ are CCZ-equivalent if and only if $\mathbb {S} _{F},\mathbb {S} _{F'}$ are strongly isotopic;
• for $n$ odd, isotopic coincides with strongly isotopic;
• if $F,F'$ are isotopic equivalent, then there exists a linear map $L$ such that $F'$ is EA-equivalent to $F(x+L(x))-F(x)-F(L(x))$ ;
• any commutative presemifield of odd order can generate at most two CCZ-equivalence classes of planar DO polynomials;
• if $\mathbb {S} _{1}$ and $\mathbb {S} _{2}$ are isotopic commutative semifields of characteristic $p$ with order of middle nuclei and nuclei $p^{m}$ and $p^{k}$ respectively, then either one of the following is satisfied:
• $m/k$ is odd and the semifields are strongly isotopic,
• $m/k$ is even and the semifields are strongly isotopic or the only isotopisms are of the form $(\alpha \star N,N,L)$ with $\alpha \in N_{m}(\mathbb {S} _{1})$ non-square.