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A General Additive Data Perturbation Method for Database Security


  • Krishnamurty Muralidhar

    (School of Management, Carol Martin Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40506-0034)

  • Rahul Parsa

    (College of Business & Public Administration, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa 50311)

  • Rathindra Sarathy

    (Department of Accounting, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois 61790-5520)


The security of organizational databases has received considerable attention in the literature in recent years. This can be attributed to a simultaneous increase in the amount of data being stored in databases, the analysis of such data, and the desire to protect confidential data. Data perturbation methods are often used to protect confidential, numerical data from unauthorized queries while providing maximum access and accurate information to legitimate queries. To provide accurate information, it is desirable that perturbation does not result in a change in relationships between attributes. In the presence of nonconfidential attributes, existing methods will result in such a change. This study describes a new method (General Additive Data Perturbation) that does not change relationships between attributes. All existing methods of additive data perturbation are shown to be special cases of this method. When the database has a multivariate normal distribution, the new method provides maximum security and minimum bias. For nonnormal databases, the new method provides better security and bias performance than the multiplicative data perturbation method.

Suggested Citation

  • Krishnamurty Muralidhar & Rahul Parsa & Rathindra Sarathy, 1999. "A General Additive Data Perturbation Method for Database Security," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(10), pages 1399-1415, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:45:y:1999:i:10:p:1399-1415

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Krishnamurty Muralidhar & Dinesh Batra & Peeter J. Kirs, 1995. "Accessibility, Security, and Accuracy in Statistical Databases: The Case for the Multiplicative Fixed Data Perturbation Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(9), pages 1549-1564, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rathindra Sarathy & Krishnamurty Muralidhar & Rahul Parsa, 2002. "Perturbing Nonnormal Confidential Attributes: The Copula Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(12), pages 1613-1627, December.
    2. Seokho Lee & Marc G. Genton & Reinaldo B. Arellano-Valle, 2010. "Perturbation of Numerical Confidential Data via Skew-t Distributions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(2), pages 318-333, February.
    3. Krishnamurty Muralidhar & Rathindra Sarathy, 2006. "Data Shuffling--A New Masking Approach for Numerical Data," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(5), pages 658-670, May.
    4. Templ, Matthias & Kowarik, Alexander & Meindl, Bernhard, 2015. "Statistical Disclosure Control for Micro-Data Using the R Package sdcMicro," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 67(i04).
    5. Trottini, Mario & Muralidhar, Krish & Sarathy, Rathindra, 2011. "Maintaining tail dependence in data shuffling using t copula," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 420-428, March.
    6. Du, Timon C. & Wang, Fu-Kwun & Ro, Jen-Chuan, 2002. "The effect of the Bootstrap method on additive fixed data perturbation in statistical database," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 367-379, October.


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