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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,