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Modeling and Performance Comparison of Privacy Approaches for Location Based Services

by   Pratima Biswas, et al.
Director, IIT Patna

In pervasive computing environment, Location Based Services (LBSs) are getting popularity among users because of their usefulness in day-to-day life. LBSs are information services that use geospatial data of mobile device and smart phone users to provide information, entertainment and security in real time. A key concern in such pervasive computing environment is the need to reveal the user's exact location which may allow an adversary to infer private information about the user. To address the privacy concerns of LBS users, a large number of security approaches have been proposed based on the concept of k-anonymity. The central idea in location k-anonymity is to find a set of k-1 users confined in a given geographical area of the actual user, such that the location of these k users are indistinguishable from one another, thus protecting the identity of the user. Although a number of performance parameters like success rate, amount of privacy achieved are used to measure the performance of the k-anonymity approaches, they make the implicit, unrealistic assumption that the k-1 users are readily available. As such these approaches ignore the turnaround time to process a user request, which is crucial for a real-time application like LBS. In this work, we model the k-anonymity approaches using queuing theory to compute the average sojourn time of users and queue length of the system. To demonstrate that queuing theory can be used to model all k-anonymity approaches, we consider graph-based k-anonymity approaches. The proposed analytical model is further validated with experimental results.


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