New operations research paper tackles problems facing confidential databases

Nov 13, 2007

As database managers for websites like the New Zealand census bureau have begun releasing a wide variety of information online, new operations research techniques are helping to balance the public’s right to know with the need to maintain online security, according to a new study in Operations Research, a flagship journal of The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®).

The study, “Stochastic Protection of Confidential Information in Databases: A Hybrid of Data Perturbation and Query Restriction,” is by Manuel A. Nunez, Robert S. Garfinkel, and Ram D. Gopal of the School of Business at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.

Data perturbation and query restriction are two methods developed to protect confidential data in statistical databases. In the former, the data is systematically changed to yield answers to queries that are statistically similar to those that would have resulted from the original data. The latter provides exact answers to queries as long as the risk of exact disclosure of confidential data does not become too great.

The authors present a new methodology to combine these techniques so that the advantages of both are captured. The hybrid model is appropriate and computationally viable for large databases. The results indicate that many queries can be answered exactly and the proposed perturbation approach provides more accurate answers than the standard perturbation method.

The study appears in the current issue of the journal Operations Research and is highlighted as a featured article.

Source: Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

Explore further: 'Deep web search' may help scientists

Related Stories

The art of hand-polishing precision optics

23 minutes ago

Growing up in a household of artists and engineers, Peter Thelin was destined for a career in which artistry mattered. Only for him, art has come in the form of manipulating the shapes, sizes and qualities of optics. And ...

Researchers combat bias in next-generation DNA sequencing

24 minutes ago

Ever since scientists completed mapping the entire human genome in 2003, the field of DNA sequencing has seen an influx of new methods and technologies designed to help scientists in their search for genetic ...

Probing Question: Is art an essential school subject?

37 minutes ago

For decades, "reading, writing, and 'rithmetic" were considered the most fundamental subjects in American K-12 schools. These days, in order to boost our nation's global competitiveness, many schools and ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.