University of Hawaii

Department of Electrical Engineering

Private Matching for Proximity-based Mobile Social Networking

Date: 2013-09-05
Time: 10:30a.m. – 11:30a.m.
Location: Holmes Hall 389
Speaker: Rui Zhang, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Hawaii

 Proximity-based mobile social networking (PMSN) becomes increasingly popular due to the explosive growth of smartphones and tablets.  It refers to the social interaction among physically proximate mobile users directly through the Bluetooth/WiFi interfaces on their smartphones or other mobile devices. As a valuable complement to web-based online social networking, PMSN enables more tangible face-to-face social interactions in public places such as bars, airports, trains, and stadiums. Profile matching means two users comparing their personal profiles before real social interaction and is often the first step towards effective PMSN. It, however, conflicts with users’ growing privacy concerns about disclosing their personal profiles to complete strangers before deciding to interact with them. In this talk, I will discuss how to break the circular dependency between profile exchanging and social interaction via private matching, which allows two users to compare their personal profiles without disclosing them to each other. Specifically, I will first introduce a private matching protocol based on homomorphic encryption, which is effective but computationally expensive. I will then discuss how to significantly reduce the computation overhead using a Bloom filter at the expense of moderate sacrifice in matching accuracy and privacy. Finally, I will discuss how to realize fine-grained private matching at different privacy levels.
Rui Zhang is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at University of Hawaii. He received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Arizona State University in 2013, his B.E. degree in Communication Engineering and the M.E. degree in Communication and Information Systems both from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, in 2001 and 2005, respectively. From 2005 to 2007, he was a software engineer at UTStarcom, Shenzhen. His research interests are the security and privacy issues in wireless/mobile networks and systems, wireless/mobile health, smart grids, social networks, and cloud computing.