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# Data Privacy and Security Homework 1

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CS528 Data Privacy and Security
Homework 1
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1. k-Anonymity (40 Points)
Design and implement a heuristic algorithm to ensure (k1, k2)-anonymity for the Adult
dataset in the UCI Machine Learning Repository: https://archive.ics.uci.edu/ml/datasets/Adult.
• The full dataset and description are available at:
• For the attribute “Salary”, there are only two distinct values (“≤ 50K” or “> 50K”).
For adults with salary ≤ 50K, they prefer a stronger protection k1 = 10; For adults
with salary > 50K, they are OK with k2 = 5. “Salary” is only used to determine k1
or k2 for different users (no need to share them in the output).
• To simplify the problem, you only need to consider 4 attributes as quasi-identifiers
(QIs) to implement the generalization and/or suppression:
1. Age: positive integers
2. Education: Bachelors, Some-college, 11th, HS-grad, Prof-school, Assoc-acdm,
Assoc-voc, 9th, 7th-8th, 12th, Masters, 1st-4th, 10th, Doctorate, 5th-6th, Preschool.
3. Marital-Status: Married-civ-spouse, Divorced, Never-married, Separated, Widowed, Married-spouse-absent, Married-AF-spouse.
4. Race: White, Asian-Pac-Islander, Amer-Indian-Eskimo, Other, Black.
• Consider “Occupation” as the sensitive attribute to share, which includes 15 distinct
values (including “?”). Notice that,
– The dataset has missing values. If so, it is considered as “Generalized to the top
of the hierarchy”.
– All the remaining attributes (other than the 4 QIs and the sensitive attribute)
can be suppressed in the data.
– The algorithm should try to maximize the output utility. For instance, applying
k1 = k2 = 10 can also satisfy the privacy demand of all the users. However, it is
not an acceptable solution due to high utility loss.
1
Illinois Institute of Technology – CS528 Data Privacy and Security
– The distortion and precision can be different for different hierarchies and algorithms. If your hierarchy and algorithm are reasonable, the distortion should not
be very large. Otherwise, for instance, if each hierarchy (for a QI) only includes
2 levels, the distortion might be very large.
(a) Define reasonable hierarchies for the 4 QIs. (5 points)
(b) Write a program for the heuristic algorithm, which generalizes/suppresses the data for
(k1, k2)-anonymity while minimizing the utility loss. You can use any programming
language, e.g., Java, Python and C++. You can also extend the DataFly or µ-Argus
Algorithm. (25 points)
(c) Calculate the distortion and precision of the output (k1 = 10, k2 = 5) based on your
designed hierarchies and algorithm. (10 points)
Submission Part I: output dataset (QIs and sensitive attribute) and source code files –
all named with the prefix “hw1-1-” (e.g., hw1-1-anonymity.java).
2. `-Diversity (60 Points)
Using the same setting as above (dataset, QIs, sensitive attribute, and hierarchies), design
and implement a heuristic algorithm to ensure `-diversity besides k-anonymity.
(a) Write a program for the heuristic algorithm (which generalizes/suppresses the data for
“Entropy `-diversity” while minimizing the utility loss). You can use any programming
language, e.g., Java, Python and C++. (20 points)
(b) Write a program for the heuristic algorithm (which generalizes/suppresses the data
for “Recursive (c, `)-diversity” while minimizing the utility loss). You can use any
programming language, e.g., Java, Python and C++. (20 points)
(c) Set k = 5, ` = 3 for (a), and calculate the distortion and precision of the output. (10
points)
(d) Set k = 5, ` = 3 and c = 0.5, 1, 2 for (b), and calculate the distortion and precision of
the outputs (three outputs for different c). (10 points)
The algorithm can iteratively search generalization levels (of the hierarchies) and the
corresponding combinations of equivalence classes (of the records). The key criterion is
to check if the distribution of sensitive values in each equivalence class satisfies a specific
`-diversity, and if the distortion or precision is minimized after forming the equivalence
classes via generalization and suppression.
Submission Part II: output datasets (QIs and sensitive attribute) and source code files
– all named with the prefix “hw1-2-” (e.g., hw1-2-entropy.java).
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Illinois Institute of Technology – CS528 Data Privacy and Security
Submission Part III: a PDF file hw1-report.pdf to include the hierarchies, and screenshots
for all distortion/precision results (for both k-anonymity and `-diversity). All the results
should be well-marked (e.g., for Task 1(a), 1(c), 2(c), and 2(d)).
3 Data Privacy and Security Homework 1
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