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We present a mathematical formulation for the optimization of query forgery for private information retrieval, in the sense that the privacy risk is minimized for a given traffic and processing overhead. The privacy risk is measured as an information-theoretic divergence between the user's query distribution and the population's, which includes the entropy of the user's distribution as a special case. We carefully justify and interpret our privacy criterion from diverse perspectives. Our formulation poses a mathematically tractable problem that bears substantial resemblance with rate-distortion theory.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2010