Privacy-Preserving Similarity Search with Efficient Updates in Distributed Key-Value Stores

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number9288779
Pages (from-to)1072-1084
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number5
Online published9 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


Privacy-preserving similarity search plays an essential role in data analytics, especially when very large encrypted datasets are stored in the cloud. Existing mechanisms on privacy-preserving similarity search were not able to support secure updates (addition and deletion) efficiently when frequent updates are needed. In this article, we propose a new mechanism to support parallel privacy-preserving similarity search in a distributed key-value store in the cloud, with a focus on efficient addition and deletion operations, both executed with sublinear time complexity. If search accuracy is the top priority, we further leverage Yao's garbled circuits and the homomorphic property of Hash-ElGamal encryption to build a secure evaluation protocol, which can obtain the top-$R$R most accurate results without extensive client-side post-processing. We have formally analyzed the security strength of our proposed approach, and performed an extensive array of experiments to show its superior performance as compared to existing mechanisms in the literature. In particular, we evaluate the performance of our proposed protocol with respect to the time it takes to build the index and perform similarity queries. Extensive experimental results demonstrated that our protocol can speedup the index building process by up to 800× with 2 threads and the similarity queries by up to ∼7× with comparable accuracy, as compared to the state-of-the-art in the literature.

Research Area(s)

  • cloud storage, data privacy, efficient updates, key-value stores, Searchable symmetric encryption, similarity search