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Jia, Ruoxi, Dong, Roy, Sastry, S. Shankar, Spanos, Costas J..  2017.  Privacy-enhanced Architecture for Occupancy-based HVAC Control. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems. :177–186.

Large-scale sensing and actuation infrastructures have allowed buildings to achieve significant energy savings; at the same time, these technologies introduce significant privacy risks that must be addressed. In this paper, we present a framework for modeling the trade-off between improved control performance and increased privacy risks due to occupancy sensing. More specifically, we consider occupancy-based HVAC control as the control objective and the location traces of individual occupants as the private variables. Previous studies have shown that individual location information can be inferred from occupancy measurements. To ensure privacy, we design an architecture that distorts the occupancy data in order to hide individual occupant location information while maintaining HVAC performance. Using mutual information between the individual's location trace and the reported occupancy measurement as a privacy metric, we are able to optimally design a scheme to minimize privacy risk subject to a control performance guarantee. We evaluate our framework using real-world occupancy data: first, we verify that our privacy metric accurately assesses the adversary's ability to infer private variables from the distorted sensor measurements; then, we show that control performance is maintained through simulations of building operations using these distorted occupancy readings.

Kahla, Mostafa, Chen, Si, Just, Hoang Anh, Jia, Ruoxi.  2022.  Label-Only Model Inversion Attacks via Boundary Repulsion. 2022 IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR). :15025–15033.
Recent studies show that the state-of-the-art deep neural networks are vulnerable to model inversion attacks, in which access to a model is abused to reconstruct private training data of any given target class. Existing attacks rely on having access to either the complete target model (whitebox) or the model's soft-labels (blackbox). However, no prior work has been done in the harder but more practical scenario, in which the attacker only has access to the model's predicted label, without a confidence measure. In this paper, we introduce an algorithm, Boundary-Repelling Model Inversion (BREP-MI), to invert private training data using only the target model's predicted labels. The key idea of our algorithm is to evaluate the model's predicted labels over a sphere and then estimate the direction to reach the target class's centroid. Using the example of face recognition, we show that the images reconstructed by BREP-MI successfully reproduce the semantics of the private training data for various datasets and target model architectures. We compare BREP-MI with the state-of-the-art white-box and blackbox model inversion attacks, and the results show that despite assuming less knowledge about the target model, BREP-MI outperforms the blackbox attack and achieves comparable results to the whitebox attack. Our code is available online.11