Privacy-preserving Outsourced Similarity Search

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Year of publication 2014
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Database Management
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Informatics

Field Informatics
Keywords Cloud; EM-Index; Outsourcing; Privacy; Similarity Search
Description The general trend in data management is to outsource data to 3rd party systems that would provide data retrieval as a service. This approach naturally brings privacy concerns about the (potentially sensitive) data. Recently, quite extensive research has been done on privacy-preserving outsourcing of traditional exact-match and keyword search. However, not much attention has been paid to outsourcing of similarity search, which is essential in content-based retrieval in current multimedia, sensor or scientific data. In this paper, the authors propose a scheme of outsourcing similarity search. They define evaluation criteria for these systems with an emphasis on usability, privacy and efficiency in real applications. These criteria can be used as a general guideline for a practical system analysis and we use them to survey and mutually compare existing approaches. As the main result, the authors propose a novel dynamic similarity index EM-Index that works for an arbitrary metric space and ensures data privacy and thus is suitable for search systems outsourced for example in a cloud environment. In comparison with other approaches, the index is fully dynamic (update operations are efficient) and its aim is to transfer as much load from clients to the server as possible.
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