Inference management, trust and obfuscation principles for quality of information in emerging pervasive environments

Chatschik Bisdikian, Christopher Gibson, Supriyo Chakraborty, Mani Srivastava, Murat Sensoy, Timothy J Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The emergence of large scale, distributed, sensor-enabled, machine-to-machine pervasive applications necessitates engaging with providers of information on demand to collect the information, of varying quality levels, to be used to infer about the state of the world and decide actions in response. In these highly fluid operational environments, involving information providers and consumers of various degrees of trust and intentions, information transformation, such as obfuscation, is used to manage the inferences that could be made to protect providers from misuses of the information they share, while still providing benefits to their information consumers. In this paper, we develop the initial principles for relating to inference management and the role that trust and obfuscation plays in it within the context of this emerging breed of applications. We start by extending the definitions of trust and obfuscation into this emerging application space. We, then, highlight their role as we move from the tightly-coupled to loosely-coupled sensory-inference systems and describe how quality, value and risk of information relate in collaborative and adversarial systems. Next, we discuss quality distortion illustrated through a human activity recognition sensory system. We then present a system architecture to support an inference firewall capability in a publish/subscribe system for sensory information and conclude with a discussion and closing remarks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-187
Number of pages20
JournalPervasive and Mobile Computing
Early online date25 Sept 2013
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

This research was sponsored by the US Army Research Laboratory and the UK Ministry of Defence and was accomplished under Agreement Number W911NF-06-3-0001. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the author(s) and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the US Army Research Laboratory, the US Government, the UK Ministry of Defence or the UK Government. The US and UK Governments are authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation hereon. Dr. Şensoy thanks to the US Army Research Laboratory for its support under grant W911NF-13-1-0243 and The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) for its support under grant 113E238.


  • Quality of information
  • Value of information
  • Risk of information
  • QoI
  • VoI
  • RoI
  • Obfuscation
  • Inference management


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