The problem of anonymisation on graph data
PhDs and postgraduate research
Self-funded PhD students only
School of Computing
October and February
Applications accepted all year round
The work on this project will involve:
- theoretical research in the specified area, including formulation and verification of new approaches
- an opportunity to undertake a research visit (2-4 months) in Dauphine University, Paris
The problem of anonymisation of data has received significant attention over the past decade. To find good methods to protect data privacy becomes important task attracting lots of research interest.
Graph data can be used to represent networks, e.g. social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn, but also spreading of infectious diseases. The representation is based on graphs, where vertices correspond to the entities and edges reflect relationships between entities. Since graph data in the networks may be sensitive, sharing such type of data requires the use of various anonymisation techniques.
To achieve that, the idea is to preserve significant structural properties of the networks while ensuring anonymity of its entities. It means, a simple modification of the network’s properties is allowed to create several indistinguishable entities. Several anonymisation techniques have already been explored: generalisation group’s records following certain criteria in order to hide individual records, data perturbation, or k-anonymisation where each entity is considered anonymous if it is indistinguishable from at least (k-1) others.
Some of these models were also studied from an algorithmic point of view, as anonymisation by using clustering methods. Also the computation complexity of k-anonymisation have been studied including various heuristics to modify graphs using allowed vertex/edge operations.
The purpose of the PhD is to study anonymisation models represented on graph data transformed to the problems from graph theory, mainly from an algorithmic point of view.
This is a joint project with Dauphine University, Paris. During the PhD there is an opportunity to undertake a research visit (2-4 months) in the partner institution.
Fees and funding
Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).
2020/2021 entry (for October 2020 and February 2021 entries)
Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,407 p/a
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,204 p/a
International full-time students: £16,400 p/a
International part-time students: £8,200 p/a
PhD by Publication
External candidates £4,407 p/a
Members of staff £1,680 p/a*
2021/2022 entry (for October 2021 and February 2022 entries)
PhD and MPhil
Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,407 p/a*
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,204 p/a*
International full-time students: £17,600 p/a
International part-time students: £8,800 p/a
All fees are subject to annual increase.
PhD by Publication
External Candidates £4,407 p/a*
Members of Staff £1,720 p/a*
If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2021/22 please visit this page.
*This is the 2020/21 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) maximum studentship fee; this fee will increase to the 2021/22 UKRI maximum studentship fee when UKRI announces this rate in Spring 2021.
Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.
You'll need an upper second class honours degree from an internationally recognised university or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
- Good background in theoretical computer science, with a specialisation in combinatorial optimisation
- Good background in discrete mathematics, especially in graph theory
How to apply
We’d encourage you to contact Dr Janka Chlebikova at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.
When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. An extended statement as to how you might address the proposal would be welcomed.
Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.
If you want to be considered for this self-funded PhD opportunity you must quote project code COMP4500220 when applying.