Privacy preserving clustering

Somesh Jha, Louis Kruger, and Patrick McDaniel.

In 10th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security (ESORICS).

Milan, Italy, September 2005.

The freedom and transparency of information flow on the Internet has heightened concerns of privacy. Given a set of data items, clustering algorithms group similar items together. Clustering has many applications, such as customer-behavior analysis, targeted marketing, forensics, and bioinformatics. In this paper, we present the design and analysis of a privacy-preserving k-means clustering algorithm, where only the cluster means at the various steps of the algorithm are revealed to the participating parties. The crucial step in our privacy-preserving k-means is privacy-preserving computation of cluster means. We present two protocols (one based on oblivious polynomial evaluation and the second based on homomorphic encryption) for privacy-preserving computation of cluster means. We have a JAVA implementation of our algorithm. Using our implementation, we have performed a thorough evaluation of our privacy-preserving clustering algorithm on three data sets. Our evaluation demonstrates that privacy-preserving clustering is feasible, i.e., our homomorphic-encryption based algorithm finished clustering a large data set in approximately 66 seconds.

Paper: [pdf]

This page updated October 14, 2005.