Trip planning queries with location privacy in spatial databases

Subarna Chowdhury Soma, Tanzima Hashem, Muhammad Aamir Cheema, Samiha Samrose

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Privacy has become a major concern for the users of location-based services (LBSs) and researchers have focused on protecting user privacy for different location-based queries. In this paper, we propose techniques to protect location privacy of users for trip planning (TP) queries, a novel type of query in spatial databases. A TP query enables a user to plan a trip with the minimum travel distance, where the trip starts from a source location, goes through a sequence of points of interest (POIs) (e.g., restaurant, shopping center), and ends at a destination location. Due to privacy concerns, users may not wish to disclose their exact locations to the location-based service provider (LSP). In this paper, we present the first comprehensive solution for processing TP queries without disclosing a user’s actual source and destination locations to the LSP. Our system protects the user’s privacy by sending either a false location or a cloaked location of the user to the LSP but provides exact results of the TP queries. We develop a novel technique to refine the search space as an elliptical region using geometric properties, which is the key idea behind the efficiency of our algorithms. To further reduce the processing overhead while computing a trip from a large POI database, we present an approximation algorithm for privacy preserving TP queries. Extensive experiments show that the proposed algorithms evaluate TP queries in real time with the desired level of location privacy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)205-236
    Number of pages32
    JournalWorld Wide Web-Internet and Web Information Systems
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


    • Location-based services
    • Privacy
    • Trip planning queries

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