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Conference Paper
Li, H., Xie, R., Kong, X., Wang, L., Li, B..  2020.  An Analysis of Utility for API Recommendation: Do the Matched Results Have the Same Efforts? 2020 IEEE 20th International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability and Security (QRS). :479—488.

The current evaluation of API recommendation systems mainly focuses on correctness, which is calculated through matching results with ground-truth APIs. However, this measurement may be affected if there exist more than one APIs in a result. In practice, some APIs are used to implement basic functionalities (e.g., print and log generation). These APIs can be invoked everywhere, and they may contribute less than functionally related APIs to the given requirements in recommendation. To study the impacts of correct-but-useless APIs, we use utility to measure them. Our study is conducted on more than 5,000 matched results generated by two specification-based API recommendation techniques. The results show that the matched APIs are heavily overlapped, 10% APIs compose more than 80% matched results. The selected 10% APIs are all correct, but few of them are used to implement the required functionality. We further propose a heuristic approach to measure the utility and conduct an online evaluation with 15 developers. Their reports confirm that the matched results with higher utility score usually have more efforts on programming than the lower ones.

Sengupta, Poushali, Paul, Sudipta, Mishra, Subhankar.  2020.  BUDS: Balancing Utility and Differential Privacy by Shuffling. 2020 11th International Conference on Computing, Communication and Networking Technologies (ICCCNT). :1–7.
Balancing utility and differential privacy by shuffling or BUDS is an approach towards crowd sourced, statistical databases, with strong privacy and utility balance using differential privacy theory. Here, a novel algorithm is proposed using one-hot encoding and iterative shuffling with the loss estimation and risk minimization techniques, to balance both the utility and privacy. In this work, after collecting one-hot encoded data from different sources and clients, a step of novel attribute shuffling technique using iterative shuffling (based on the query asked by the analyst) and loss estimation with an updation function and risk minimization produces a utility and privacy balanced differential private report. During empirical test of balanced utility and privacy, BUDS produces ε = 0.02 which is a very promising result. Our algorithm maintains a privacy bound of ε = ln[t/((n1-1)S)] and loss bound of c'\textbackslashtextbareln[t/((n1-1)S)]-1\textbackslashtextbar.
Gupta, Pragya Kirti, Schaetz, Bernhard.  2016.  Constraint-based Graceful Degradation in Smart Grids. Proceedings of the 2Nd International Workshop on Software Engineering for Smart Cyber-Physical Systems. :8–14.

In a electrical distribution network, the challenges involved in the decentralized power generation and the resilience of the network to handle the failures, can be easily anticipated. With the use of information technology, a better control can be achieved over the distributed generation units and the fault handling in them. In this contribution, the use of a graceful degradation strategy is proposed as a means to improve the availability of the system during a fault situation. The Graceful degradation is presented as a constraint satisfaction problem. The trigger and the computation of the degradation process are formulated as the constraints. The concept of the utility of the resources is used to support a dynamic decision to trigger the degradation process. The computation of the graceful degradation strategy is formalized as an SMT problem and analyzed using the Z3 SMT-solver. The approach is illustrated with the help of a use case of applying the degradation strategy on a prosumer node during the power outage in the distribution network. It illustrates the dynamic calculation capability of the degradation scheme in the face of an unpredictable power from a renewable energy resource.

van Kerkhoven, Jason, Charlebois, Nathaniel, Robertson, Alex, Gibson, Brydon, Ahmed, Arslan, Bouida, Zied, Ibnkahla, Mohamed.  2019.  IPv6-Based Smart Grid Communication over 6LoWPAN. 2019 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC). :1–6.
Smart Grid is a major element of the Smart City concept that enables two-way communication of energy data between electric utilities and their consumers. These communication technologies are going through sharp modernization to meet future demand growth and to achieve reliability, security, and efficiency of the electric grid. In this paper, we implement an IPv6 based two-way communication system between the transformer agent (TA), installed at local electric transformer and various customer agents (CAs), connected to customer's smart meter. Various homes share their energy usage with the TA which in turn sends the utility's recommendations to the CAs. Raspberry Pi is used as hardware for all the CAs and the TA. We implement a self-healing mesh network between all nodes using OpenLab IEEE 802.15.4 chips and Routing Protocol for Low-Power and Lossy Networks (RPL), and the data is secured by RSA/AES keys. Several tests have been conducted in real environments, inside and outside of Carleton University, to test the performance of this communication network in various obstacle settings. In this paper, we highlight the details behind the implementation of this IPv6-based smart grid communication system, the related challenges, and the proposed solutions.
Feigenbaum, Joan, Jaggard, Aaron D., Wright, Rebecca N..  2014.  Open vs. Closed Systems for Accountability. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :4:1–4:11.

The relationship between accountability and identity in online life presents many interesting questions. Here, we first systematically survey the various (directed) relationships among principals, system identities (nyms) used by principals, and actions carried out by principals using those nyms. We also map these relationships to corresponding accountability-related properties from the literature. Because punishment is fundamental to accountability, we then focus on the relationship between punishment and the strength of the connection between principals and nyms. To study this particular relationship, we formulate a utility-theoretic framework that distinguishes between principals and the identities they may use to commit violations. In doing so, we argue that the analogue applicable to our setting of the well known concept of quasilinear utility is insufficiently rich to capture important properties such as reputation. We propose more general utilities with linear transfer that do seem suitable for this model. In our use of this framework, we define notions of "open" and "closed" systems. This distinction captures the degree to which system participants are required to be bound to their system identities as a condition of participating in the system. This allows us to study the relationship between the strength of identity binding and the accountability properties of a system.

Paul, S., Padhy, N. P., Mishra, S. K., Srivastava, A. K..  2019.  UUCA: Utility-User Cooperative Algorithm for Flexible Load Scheduling in Distribution System. 2019 8th International Conference on Power Systems (ICPS). :1—6.
Demand response analysis in smart grid deployment substantiated itself as an important research area in recent few years. Two-way communication between utility and users makes peak load reduction feasible by delaying the operation of deferrable appliances. Flexible appliance rescheduling is preferred to the users compared to traditional load curtailment. Again, if users' preferences are accounted into appliance transferring process, then customers concede a little discomfort to help the utility in peak reduction. This paper presents a novel Utility-User Cooperative Algorithm (UUCA) to lower total electricity cost and gross peak demand while preserving users' privacy and preferences. Main driving force in UUCA to motivate the consumers is a new cost function for their flexible appliances. As a result, utility will experience low peak and due to electricity cost decrement, users will get reduced bill. However, to maintain privacy, the behaviors of one customer have not be revealed either to other customers or to the central utility. To justify the effectiveness, UUCA is executed separately on residential, commercial and industrial customers of a distribution grid. Harmony search optimization technique has proved itself superior compared to other heuristic search techniques to prove efficacy of UUCA.
Journal Article
Shokri, Reza, Theodorakopoulos, George, Troncoso, Carmela.  2016.  Privacy Games Along Location Traces: A Game-Theoretic Framework for Optimizing Location Privacy. ACM Trans. Priv. Secur.. 19:11:1–11:31.

The mainstream approach to protecting the privacy of mobile users in location-based services (LBSs) is to alter (e.g., perturb, hide, and so on) the users’ actual locations in order to reduce exposed sensitive information. In order to be effective, a location-privacy preserving mechanism must consider both the privacy and utility requirements of each user, as well as the user’s overall exposed locations (which contribute to the adversary’s background knowledge). In this article, we propose a methodology that enables the design of optimal user-centric location obfuscation mechanisms respecting each individual user’s service quality requirements, while maximizing the expected error that the optimal adversary incurs in reconstructing the user’s actual trace. A key advantage of a user-centric mechanism is that it does not depend on third-party proxies or anonymizers; thus, it can be directly integrated in the mobile devices that users employ to access LBSs. Our methodology is based on the mutual optimization of user/adversary objectives (maximizing location privacy versus minimizing localization error) formalized as a Stackelberg Bayesian game. This formalization makes our solution robust against any location inference attack, that is, the adversary cannot decrease the user’s privacy by designing a better inference algorithm as long as the obfuscation mechanism is designed according to our privacy games. We develop two linear programs that solve the location privacy game and output the optimal obfuscation strategy and its corresponding optimal inference attack. These linear programs are used to design location privacy–preserving mechanisms that consider the correlation between past, current, and future locations of the user, thus can be tuned to protect different privacy objectives along the user’s location trace. We illustrate the efficacy of the optimal location privacy–preserving mechanisms obtained with our approach against real location traces, showing their performance in protecting users’ different location privacy objectives.