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Anonymous Query Processing in Road Networks
January 2010 (vol. 22 no. 1)
pp. 2-15
Kyriakos Mouratidis, Singapore Management University, Singapore
Man Lung Yiu, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
The increasing availability of location-aware mobile devices has given rise to a flurry of location-based services (LBSs). Due to the nature of spatial queries, an LBS needs the user position in order to process her requests. On the other hand, revealing exact user locations to a (potentially untrusted) LBS may pinpoint their identities and breach their privacy. To address this issue, spatial anonymity techniques obfuscate user locations, forwarding to the LBS a sufficiently large region instead. Existing methods explicitly target processing in the euclidean space and do not apply when proximity to the users is defined according to network distance (e.g., driving time through the roads of a city). In this paper, we propose a framework for anonymous query processing in road networks. We design location obfuscation techniques that: 1) provide anonymous LBS access to the users and 2) allow efficient query processing at the LBS side. Our techniques exploit existing network database infrastructure, requiring no specialized storage schemes or functionalities. We experimentally compare alternative designs in real road networks and demonstrate the effectiveness of our techniques.

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Index Terms:
Spatial databases, road networks, location privacy, spatial anonymity, query processing, location-based services.
Kyriakos Mouratidis, Man Lung Yiu, "Anonymous Query Processing in Road Networks," IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 2-15, Jan. 2010, doi:10.1109/TKDE.2009.48
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