Bilkent University
Department of Computer Engineering


On the tradeoff between Privacy and Utility in Genomic studies: Differential Privacy under Random Sampling


Nour M.N. Almadhoun
PhD Student
Computer Engineering Department
Bilkent University

The rapid progress in genome sequencing technologies leads to a high availability of genomic data. Studying these data can greatly help answer the key questions about disease causes and our own evolution. So-called genome-wide association studies (GWAS) aim at detecting genetic variants that contribute to an increase or decrease in risk to disease arise in populations. GWAS have led to many scientific discoveries associated with conditions such as Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases. However, due to the growing privacy concern about the participants in GWAS and their sensitive information, accessing key results and data of GWAS is restricted to only trusted individuals. Paving the way for more biomedical breakthroughs and discoveries necessitates granting an open access to GWAS database. Privacy-preserving mechanisms can be applied for granting more people access to this precious data while protecting their owners. In particular, there has been growing interest in applying the concept of differential privacy to GWAS results. In this work, a relaxation of differential privacy notion is proposed in order to achieve high utility for genomic studies while preserving a reasonable privacy budget. This framework will be evaluated in real world genomic studies by applying different statistical queries in the datasets.


DATE: 17 October, 2016, Monday @ 15:40