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Probabilistic Anonymity

Mohit Bhargava 1 Catuscia Palamidessi 2
2 COMETE - Concurrency, Mobility and Transactions
Inria Saclay - Ile de France, LIX - Laboratoire d'informatique de l'École polytechnique [Palaiseau]
Abstract : The concept of anonymity comes into play in a wide range of situations, varying from voting and anonymous donations to postings on bulletin boards and sending mails. The systems for ensuring anonymity often use random mechanisms which can be described probabilistically, while the agents' interest in performing the anonymous action may be totally unpredictable, irregular, and hence expressible only nondeterministically. Formal definitions of the concept of anonymity have been investigated in the past either in a totally nondeterministic framework, or in a purely probabilistic one. In this paper, we investigate a notion of anonymity which combines both probability and nondeterminism, and which is suitable for describing the most general situation in which both the systems and the user can have both probabilistic and nondeterministic behavior. We also investigate the properties of the definition for the particular cases of purely nondeterministic users and purely probabilistic users. We formulate our notions of anonymity in terms of observables for processes in the probabilistic pi-calculus, whose semantics is based on Probabilistic Automata. We illustrate our ideas by using the example of the dining cryptographers.
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Mohit Bhargava, Catuscia Palamidessi. Probabilistic Anonymity. CONCUR'05, Aug 2005, San Francisco, United States. pp.171-185, ⟨10.1007/11539452_16⟩. ⟨inria-00201101⟩

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