MLPKV: A Local Differential Multi-Layer Private Key-Value Data Collection Scheme for Edge Computing Environments

Xiaolong Xu, Zexuan Fan, MARCELLO TROVATI, Francesco Palmieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review


The existing solutions related to local differential privacy (LDP) in multi-layer networks for edge computing scenarios present several limitations in both key-value data heavy hitter identification and related frequency and mean estimation tasks. First, existing LDP approaches cannot effectively use edge nodes to improve their utility/performance. Secondly, there are many network transmission tasks in edge computing, which have relatively high requirements for communication and storage costs. Furthermore, the traditional privacy budget allocation cannot attain the best utilization. To solve the above problems, we propose MLPKV, a local differential multi-layer private key-value data collection scheme for edge computing, structured into three phases: dimensional reduction, padding-length estimation, and estimation. An improved EC-OLH algorithm is used to offload the computing efforts related to aggregation and estimation to edge nodes for achieving greater efficiency. In the dimensional reduction phase, a candidate set is generated to prune the domain of original data, which improves the estimation. In addition, our method groups users for completing the tasks in each phase to avoid additional errors caused by dividing the privacy budget, and proposes a new user division with an optimal grouping ratio. Finally, the proposed method was implemented in a proof-of-concept prototype system. We compare MLPKV with baseline methods such as PrivKV and PCKV. Experimental results on both synthetic and real-world datasets show that our method achieves better utility for heavy hitter identification, frequency, and mean estimations than other state-of-the-art mechanisms. For small data sets, our approach also provides high-accuracy estimation with a low privacy budget.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1825 - 1838
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security
Early online date10 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2023


  • Local differential privacy
  • key-value data collection
  • multi-layer networks
  • edge computing


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