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Controlling privacy in recommender systems
Yu Xin · Tommi Jaakkola

Tue Dec 09 04:00 PM -- 08:59 PM (PST) @ Level 2, room 210D #None

Recommender systems involve an inherent trade-off between accuracy of recommendations and the extent to which users are willing to release information about their preferences. In this paper, we explore a two-tiered notion of privacy where there is a small set of public'' users who are willing to share their preferences openly, and a large set ofprivate'' users who require privacy guarantees. We show theoretically and demonstrate empirically that a moderate number of public users with no access to private user information already suffices for reasonable accuracy. Moreover, we introduce a new privacy concept for gleaning relational information from private users while maintaining a first order deniability. We demonstrate gains from controlled access to private user preferences.

Author Information

Yu Xin (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Tommi Jaakkola (MIT)

Tommi Jaakkola is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. He received an M.Sc. degree in theoretical physics from Helsinki University of Technology, and Ph.D. from MIT in computational neuroscience. Following a Sloan postdoctoral fellowship in computational molecular biology, he joined the MIT faculty in 1998. His research interests include statistical inference, graphical models, and large scale modern estimation problems with predominantly incomplete data.

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