Privacy-preserving profile matching for proximity-based mobile social networking

Rui Zhang, Jinxue Zhang, Yanchao Zhang, Jinyuan Sun, Guanhua Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Proximity-based mobile social networking (PMSN) refers to the social interaction among physically proximate mobile users. The first step toward effective PMSN is for mobile users to choose whom to interact with. Profile matching refers to two users comparing their personal profiles and is promising for user selection in PMSN. It, however, conflicts with users' growing privacy concerns about disclosing their personal profiles to complete strangers. This paper tackles this open challenge by designing novel fine-grained private matching protocols. Our protocols enable two users to perform profile matching without disclosing any information about their profiles beyond the comparison result. In contrast to existing coarse-grained private matching schemes for PMSN, our protocols allow finer differentiation between PMSN users and can support a wide range of matching metrics at different privacy levels. The performance of our protocols is thoroughly analyzed and evaluated via real smartphone experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6544548
Pages (from-to)656-668
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Proximity-based mobile social networking
  • privacy
  • profile matching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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