Theory of Computing Systems

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 147–157 | Cite as

Maintaining Privacy on a Line

  • Evangelos Kranakis
  • Danny Krizanc


Consider a situation where people have to choose among a sequence of n linearly ordered positions to perform some task requiring a certain amount of privacy. Which position should one choose so as to maximize one’s privacy, i.e., minimize the chances that one of your neighboring positions becomes occupied by a later arrival? In this paper, we attempt to answer this question under a variety of models for the behavior of the later arrivals. Our results suggest that for the most part one should probably choose one of the extreme positions (with some interesting exceptions). We also suggest a number of variations on the problem that lead to many open problems.


Privacy Line graph Obnoxious facility location problem Unfriendly seating arrangement problem 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceWesleyan UniversityMiddletownUSA

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