Cyber Center

Cyber Center Lecture Series

November 3, 2015

Association rule mining allows discovering of patterns in large data repositories, and benefits diverse application domains such as healthcare, marketing, social studies, etc. However, mining datasets that contain data about individuals may cause significant privacy breaches, and disclose sensitive information about one's health status, political orientation or alternative lifestyle. Recent research addressed the privacy threats that arise when  mining sensitive data and several techniques allow data mining with differential privacy guarantees. However, existing methods only discover rules that have very large support, i.e., occur in a large fraction of the dataset transactions (typically, more than 50%). This is a serious limitation and numerous high quality rules do not reach such high requencies (e.g., rules about rare diseases, or luxury merchandise).

In this paper, we propose a method that focuses on mining high-quality association rules with moderate and low frequencies. We employ a novel technique for rule extraction that combines the exponential mechanism of differential privacy with reservoir sampling. The proposed algorithm allows us to directly mine association rules without the need to compute noisy supports for large numbers of itemsets. We provide a privacy analysis of the proposed method and we perform an extensive experimental evaluation which shows that our technique is able to sample low- and moderate-support rules with high precision.

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