Zerber+R: Top-k Retrieval from a Confidential Index

Sergej Zerr, Daniel Olmedilla, Wolfgang Nejdl, Wolf Siberski

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Article in proceedingAcademicpeer-review


    Privacy-preserving document exchange among collaboration groups in an enterprise as well as across enterprises requires techniques for sharing and search of access-controlled information through largely untrusted servers. In these settings search systems need to provide confidentiality guarantees for shared information while offering IR properties comparable to the ordinary search engines. Top-k is a standard IR technique which enables fast query execution on very large indexes and makes systems highly scalable. However, indexing access-controlled information for top-k retrieval is a challenging task due to the sensitivity of the term statistics used for ranking. In this paper we present Zerber+R -- a ranking model which allows for privacy-preserving top-k retrieval from an outsourced inverted index. We propose a relevance score transformation function which makes relevance scores of different terms indistinguishable, such that even if stored on an untrusted server they do not reveal information about the indexed data. Experiments on two real-world data sets show that Zerber+R makes economical usage of bandwidth and offers retrieval properties comparable with an ordinary inverted index.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication12th International Conference on Extending Database Technology
    Subtitle of host publicationAdvances in Database Technology
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Print)978-1-60558-422-5
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2009
    Event12th International Conference on Extending Database Technology: Advances in Database Technology - University of St.Petersburg, St.Petersburg, Russian Federation
    Duration: 23 Mar 200926 Mar 2009
    Conference number: 12


    Conference12th International Conference on Extending Database Technology
    Abbreviated titleEDBT '09
    Country/TerritoryRussian Federation
    Internet address


    • zerber
    • inverted index
    • confidentiality
    • database


    Dive into the research topics of 'Zerber+R: Top-k Retrieval from a Confidential Index'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this