There are several sites (or players) that hold homogeneous databases, i.e., databases that share the same schema but hold information on different entities. The goal is to find all association rules with support at least s and confidence at least c , for some given minimal support size s and confidence level c , that hold in the unified database, while minimizing the information disclosed about the private databases held by those players. The information that we would like to protect in this context is not only individual transactions in the different databases, but also more global information such as what association rules are supported locally in each of those databases. We propose a protocol for secure mining of association rules in horizontally distributed databases. The current leading protocol is that of Kantarcioglu and Clifton. Our protocol, like theirs, is based on the Fast Distributed Mining (FDM) algorithm of Cheung et al., which is an unsecured distributed version of the Apriori algorithm. The main ingredients in our protocol are two novel secure multi-party algorithms one that computes the union of private subsets that each of the interacting players hold, and another that tests the inclusion of an element held by one player in a subset held by another. Our protocol offers enhanced privacy with respect to the protocol. In addition, it is simpler and is significantly more efficient in terms of communication rounds, communication cost and computational cost.
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