Visible to the public Differentially Private Generation of Social Networks via Exponential Random Graph Models

TitleDifferentially Private Generation of Social Networks via Exponential Random Graph Models
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsLiu, F., Eugenio, E., Jin, I. H., Bowen, C.
Conference Name2020 IEEE 44th Annual Computers, Software, and Applications Conference (COMPSAC)
KeywordsBayes methods, Bayesian, college student friendship network, compositionality, conditional probability, Data models, data privacy, Data Sanitization, Differential privacy, differentially private social network generation, DP-EGRM, exponential random graph model, exponential random graph model (ERGM), goodness of fit, graph theory, Human Behavior, latent space models, network information preservation, network statistics, node differential privacy (DP), posterior distribution, privacy, privacy risk level, private dyadwise randomized response, private network, probability, pubcrawl, random processes, resilience, Resiliency, risk management, security of data, sensitive relational information, Social network services, social networking (online), social networks, synthetic social networks
AbstractMany social networks contain sensitive relational information. One approach to protect the sensitive relational information while offering flexibility for social network research and analysis is to release synthetic social networks at a pre-specified privacy risk level, given the original observed network. We propose the DP-ERGM procedure that synthesizes networks that satisfy the differential privacy (DP) via the exponential random graph model (EGRM). We apply DP-ERGM to a college student friendship network and compare its original network information preservation in the generated private networks with two other approaches: differentially private DyadWise Randomized Response (DWRR) and Sanitization of the Conditional probability of Edge given Attribute classes (SCEA). The results suggest that DP-EGRM preserves the original information significantly better than DWRR and SCEA in both network statistics and inferences from ERGMs and latent space models. In addition, DP-ERGM satisfies the node DP, a stronger notion of privacy than the edge DP that DWRR and SCEA satisfy.
Citation Keyliu_differentially_2020