CS700: Graduate Seminar in Computer Science & Informatics

Towards Preservation of Structural Properties in Anonymized Social Networks

Social networks have recently attracted significant interest from researchers from various application domains, especially with the advent of social networking systems that enable large-scale collection of network information. While analysis of such social networks can have significant benefits, it also raises serious privacy concerns for the people involved in them. To address such privacy concerns, several techniques, such as k-anonymity based approaches, have been proposed in the literature to provide user anonymity in published social networks. However, these methods usually introduce a large amount of distortion to the original social network graphs, thus, raising questions about the utility of the anonymized graphs for useful social network analysis. In this talk, I will present our recent work related to techniques to enhance edge-perturbing anonymization methods based on the concepts of structural roles and edge betweenness in social network theory. Our experiments on several datasets show that our proposed approaches achieve significant improvements in preserving structural properties in the anonymized data compared to the original algorithms.

Bio: James Joshi is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a co-founder and the Director of the Laboratory of Education and Research on Security Assured Information Systems (LERSAIS), which has been designated jointly by the NSA and DHS as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. He received his MS in Computer Science and PhD in Computer Engineering degrees from Purdue University in 1998 and 2003. His research interests include Access Control Models, Security and Privacy of Distributed Systems, Trust Management and Information Survivability. His current research activities include Security and Privacy issues in Cloud Computing and Collaborative systems, and Social networks. He is a recipient of the NSF-CAREER award in 2006. He has served as a Program Co-Chair in several conferences including ACM SACMAT2009, IEEE IRI, and IEEE/ICST CollaborateCom, and in several workshops (Workshop on Information Assurance, and the International Workshop on Trusted Collaboration). He has served as General Co-Chair of CollaborateCom and ACM SACMAT 2010 -- where he currently also serves as a Steering committee member. He has also served as an editorial board member of the International Journals of E-Business research, Network Security and Multimedia and Ubiquitous Engineering. He has served as a program committee member in many international conferences (over 80). He is a co-editor of the book titled .Information Assurance: Dependability and Security of Networked Systems.