Boyang Wang headshot

Faculty Candidate Seminar: Secure Geometric Search on Encrypted Spatial Data

February 14, 2017

Dr. Boyang Wang, State The University of Arizona
February 14, 2017 2:00 to 3:00 pm, 117 EE Conference Room
Refreshments starting at 1:30 pm


Geometric range search is a fundamental primitive for spatial data analysis in SQL and NoSQL databases. It has extensive applications in Location-Based Services, computational geometry, and computer-aided design. Due to the dramatic increase of data size, it is necessary for companies and organizations to outsource their spatial datasets to third-party cloud services (e.g. Amazon) in order to reduce storage and query processing costs, but meanwhile with the promise of no privacy leakage to the third party. Searchable encryption is a technique to perform meaningful queries on encrypted data without revealing privacy. However, geometric range search on spatial data has not been fully investigated nor supported by existing searchable encryption schemes. The main challenge, is that compute-then-compare operations required by geometric range search cannot be supported by any existing crypto primitives. In this talk, I will present my recent research in secure geometric range search over encrypted spatial data. The general approach is to adopt new representations of spatial data, and transform geometric range search to avoid compute-then-compare operations, so that existing efficient crypto primitives can be integrated. I will present two designs, the first one focuses on circular range search, and the second one can handle arbitrary geometric range queries. The security of both schemes are formally proven under standard cryptographic assumptions.  Finally, I will briefly mention some of my future research plans.


Boyang Wang is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona. He received his first Ph.D. degree in Cryptography in 2013 and his B.S. degree in Information Security in 2007, both from Xidian University, China. He worked for Bosch Research & Technology Center as a research intern in 2015. He was a visiting student at the University of Toronto and Utah State University. His research interests include applied cryptography, information security and privacy-preserving techniques with focuses on data security and privacy. He has published over 20 research papers in top journals and conferences, including TIFS, TDSC, TSC, TPDS, INFOCOM, CNS, ACM ASIACCS, and ICDCS.