Ubiquitous deployment of low-cost mobile positioning devices and the widespread use of high-speed wireless networks enable massive collection of large-scale trajectory data of individuals moving on road networks. Trajectory data mining finds numerous applications including understanding users' historical travel preferences and recommending places of interest to new visitors. Privacy-preserving trajectory mining is an important and challenging problem as exposure of sensitive location information in the trajectories can directly invade the location privacy of the users associated with the trajectories.
In this paper, we propose a differentially private trajectory analysis algorithm for points-of-interest recommendation to users that aims at maximizing the accuracy of the recommendation results while protecting the privacy of the exposed trajectories with differential privacy guarantees. Our algorithm first transforms the raw trajectory dataset into a bipartite graph with nodes representing the users and the points-of-interest and the edges representing the visits made by the users to the locations, and then extracts the association matrix representing the bipartite graph to inject carefully calibrated noise to meet $\epsilon$-differential privacy guarantees. A post-processing of the perturbed association matrix is performed to suppress noise prior to performing a Hyperlink-Induced Topic Search (HITS) on the transformed data that generates an ordered list of recommended points-of-interest.
Extensive experiments on a real trajectory dataset show that our algorithm is efficient, scalable and demonstrates high recommendation accuracy while meeting the required differential privacy guarantees.
Chao Li, Balaji Palanisamy and James Joshi, "Differentially Private Trajectory Analysis for Points-of-Interest Recommendation", Proc. of 6th IEEE International Congress on Big Data (BigData Congress 2017), Honolulu, USA. (Best Paper Award) (PDF)