Privacy Preserving OLAP Data Cubes

Privacy Preserving OLAP Data Cubes

Alfredo Cuzzocrea (ICAR-CNR and University of Calabria, Italy)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5202-6.ch169

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It has been demonstrated (Sweeney, 2002) that malicious users can infer sensitive knowledge from online corporate databases and data cubes that do not adopt effective privacy preserving countermeasures. From this breaking evidence, a plethora of Privacy Preserving Data Mining (PPDM) (Agrawal & Srikant, 2000) techniques has been proposed during the last years. Each of these techniques focuses on supporting the privacy preservation of a specialized KDD/DM task such as frequent item set mining, clustering etc. Privacy Preserving OLAP (PPOLAP) (Agrawal, et al., 2005) is a specific PPDM technique dealing with the privacy preservation of data cubes (Gray et al., 1997). Data cubes play a leading role in Data Warehousing (DW) and Business Intelligence (BI) systems, as, on the basis of a multidimensional and a multi-resolution vision of data, data cubes make available to OLAP users/applications SQL aggregations (e.g., SUM, COUNT, AVG etc) computed over very large amounts of data stored in data sources (e.g., relational databases). These aggregations enable OLAP users/applications to easily extract summarized knowledge from the underlying massive data sources, with performance infeasible for traditional OLTP processes. Unfortunately, as highlighted by recent studies (Pernul & Priebe, 2000; Wang et al., 2004a; Wang et al., 2004b; Agrawal et al., 2005; Hua et al., 2005; Sung et al., 2006), the privacy risk heavily affects online-published data cubes. By accessing and querying data cubes, malicious users can infer OLAP aggregations computed over sensitive ranges of multidimensional data that, due to privacy reasons, are hidden to unauthorized users. Specifically, since OLAP deals with aggregate data and summarized knowledge, malicious users are usually interested in inferring what we define as aggregate patterns of multidimensional data, rather than individual information of data cells stored in data cubes (e.g., (Sung et al., 2006)) or tuples stored in relational databases (e.g., (Sweeney, 2002; Machanavajjhala et al., 2007)). Given a multidimensional range R of a data cube A, an aggregate pattern over R is defined as an aggregate value extracted from R that is able of providing a “description” of data stored in R.

Consider the following example case study, which is depicted in Figure 1. Here, a three-dimensional corporate data cube storing salary data, called SalaryMart, which is characterized by the dimensions set D = {Employer, Division, Region} and the measure M = {Income}, is accessed by a malicious user via a conventional OLAP query engine. By exploiting the knowledge about data cube metadata (such as dimensions, along which their definition set and cardinality, cardinality of the data cube, and so forth) and query metadata (such as dimensions, selectivity, and so forth), and thanks to the rich availability of OLAP operators and tools (e.g., (Chaudhuri & Dayal, 1997)), malicious users can infer (yet-approximate) aggregate patterns, by realizing what we call as simple attacks to OLAP data cubes. Figure 1 shows an example of such attacks, where the malicious user is able to retrieve the (yet-approximate) value of the AVG pattern of the data cube SalaryMart by means of simple linear-interpolation-based query answering methods over data cubes (e.g., (Cuzzocrea, 2006; Cuzzocrea & Wang, 2007)).

Figure 1.

An example simple attack to an OLAP data cube

Key Terms in this Chapter

Privacy Preserving OLAP: OLAP techniques focused on the computation of privacy preserving multidimensional aggregates.

Privacy Preserving Distributed Data Mining: Process of knowledge extraction from large distributed databases through the use of privacy preserving algorithms.

Data Warehousing: A central repository of current and historical data made by integrating data from heterogeneous sources.

OLAP: On-Line Analytical Processing, or OLAP, designate a set of software techniques for interactive analysis of large amounts of multidimensional data from multiple perspectives.

Secure Multiparty Computation: Set of cryptographic protocols used for the distributed computation of a function over distributed inputs without revealing additional information about the inputs.

XML: Markup language designed for exchanging data on the World Wide Web.

Data Cube: A multidimensional dataset used to explore and analyze business data from many different perspectives.

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