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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2025
  2. Publishing trajectory data (individual’s movement information) is very useful, but it also raises privacy concerns. To handle the privacy concern, in this paper, we apply differential privacy, the standard technique for data privacy, together with Markov chain model, to generate synthetic trajectories. We notice that existing studies all use Markov chain model and thus propose a framework to analyze the usage of the Markov chain model in this problem. Based on the analysis, we come up with an effective algorithm PrivTrace that uses the first-order and second-order Markov model adaptively. We evaluate PrivTrace and existing methods on synthetic and real-world datasets to demonstrate the superiority of our method. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 9, 2024
  3. Kim, Yongdae ; Kim, Jong ; Vigna, Giovanni ; Shi, Elaine (Ed.)
    We study the problem of publishing a stream of real-valued data satisfying differential privacy (DP). One major challenge is that the maximal possible value in the stream can be quite large, leading to enormous DP noise and bad utility. To reduce the maximal value and noise, one way is to estimate a threshold so that values above it can be truncated. The intuition is that, in many scenarios, only a few values are large; thus truncation does not change the original data much. We develop such a method that finds a suitable threshold with DP. Given the threshold, we then propose an online hierarchical method and several post-processing techniques. Building on these ideas, we formalize the steps in a framework for the private publishing of streaming data. Our framework consists of three components: a threshold optimizer that privately estimates the threshold, a perturber that adds calibrated noise to the stream, and a smoother that improves the result using post-processing. Within our framework, we also design an algorithm satisfying the more stringent DP setting called local DP. Using four real-world datasets, we demonstrate that our mechanism outperforms the state-of-the-art by a factor of 6−10 orders of magnitude in terms of utility (measured by the mean squared error of the typical scenario of answering a random range query). 
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  4. Bailey, Michael ; Greenstadt, Rachel (Ed.)
    In differential privacy (DP), a challenging problem is to generate synthetic datasets that efficiently capture the useful information in the private data. The synthetic dataset enables any task to be done without privacy concern and modification to existing algorithms. In this paper, we present PrivSyn, the first automatic synthetic data generation method that can handle general tabular datasets (with 100 attributes and domain size > 2500). PrivSyn is composed of a new method to automatically and privately identify correlations in the data, and a novel method to generate sample data from a dense graphic model. We extensively evaluate different methods on multiple datasets to demonstrate the performance of our method. 
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  5. Marginal tables are the workhorse of capturing the correlations among a set of attributes. We consider the problem of constructing marginal tables given a set of user’s multi-dimensional data while satisfying Local Differential Privacy (LDP), a privacy notion that protects individual user’s privacy without relying on a trusted third party. Existing works on this problem perform poorly in the high-dimensional setting; even worse, some incur very expensive computational overhead. In this paper, we propose CALM, Consistent Adaptive Local Marginal, that takes advantage of the careful challenge analysis and performs consistently better than existing methods. More importantly, CALM can scale well with large data dimensions and marginal sizes. We conduct extensive experiments on several real world datasets. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of CALM over existing methods. 
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