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A Combinatorial Approach to Measuring Anonymity

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3 Author(s)
Matthew Edman ; Department of Computer Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180, USA, ; Fikret Sivrikaya ; Bulent Yener

In this paper we define a new metric for quantifying the degree of anonymity collectively afforded to users of an anonymous communication system. We show how our metric, based on the permanent of a matrix, can be useful in evaluating the amount of information needed by an observer to reveal the communication pattern as a whole. We also show how our model can be extended to include probabilistic information learned by an attacker about possible sender-recipient relationships. Our work is intended to serve as a complementary tool to existing information-theoretic metrics, which typically consider the anonymity of the system from the perspective of a single user or message.

Published in:

Intelligence and Security Informatics, 2007 IEEE

Date of Conference:

23-24 May 2007