Ranges and trackers in statistical databases

  • Zbigniew Michalewicz
  • Keh-Wei Chen
Contributed Papers
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 339)


The goal of statistical databases is to provide statistics about groups of individuals while protecting their privacy. Sometimes, by correlating enough statistics, sensitive data about individual can be inferred. The problem of protecting against such indirect disclosures of confidential data is called the inference problem and a protecting mechanism — an inference control. A good inference control mechanism should be effective (it should provide security to a reasonable extent) and feasible (a practical way exists to enforce it). At the same time it should retain the richness of the information revealed to the users. During the last few years several techniques were developed for controlling inferences. One of the earliest inference controls for statistical databases restricts the responses computed over too small or too large query-sets. However, this technique is easily subverted. In the previous paper (see [5]) we proposed a new query-set size inference control which is based on the idea of multiranges and has better performance then the original one. In this paper we go further investigating the consequences of non-uniform distribution of ranges, for which queries are unanswerable.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Denning, D.E., Denning, P.J. and Schwartz, M.D., The Tracker: A Threat to Statistical Database Security, ACMToDS, Vol.4, No.1, March 1979, pp.76–96Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Denning, D.E. and Schlörer, J., A Fast Procedure for Finding a Tracker in a Statistical Database, ACMToDS, Vol.5, No.1, March 1980, pp.88–102Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Denning, D.E. and Schlörer, J., Inference Controls for Statistical Databases, Computer, Vol.16, No.7, July 1983, pp.69–85Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Michalewicz, Z., Compromisability of a Statistical Database, Inf. Syst., Vol.6, No.4, Dec. 1981, pp.301–304Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Michalewicz, Z. and Yeo, A., Multiranges and multitrackers in Statistical Databases, Fundamenta Informaticae, Vol. X, No.4, Dec. 1987Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Michalewicz, Z. and Chen, K-W., Usability and Security of Statistical Databases, submitted for publicationGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Schlörer, J., Disclosure from Statistical Databases: Quantitative Aspects of Trackers, ACMToDS, Vol.5, No.4, Dec. 1980, pp.467–492.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zbigniew Michalewicz
    • 1
  • Keh-Wei Chen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceThe University of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotte
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsThe University of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotte

Personalised recommendations