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Anonymity via networks of mixes

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Mixes are relay nodes that accept packets arriving from multiple sources and release them after variable delays to prevent an eavesdropper from associating outgoing packets to their sources. We assume that each mix has a hard latency constraint. Using an entropy-based measure to quantify anonymity, we analyze the anonymity provided by networks of such latency-constrained mixes. Our results are of most interest under light traffic conditions. A general upper bound is presented that bounds the anonymity of a single-destination mix network in terms of a linear combination of the anonymity of two-stage networks. By using a specific mixing strategy, a lower bound is provided on the light traffic derivative of the anonymity of single-destination mix networks. The light traffic derivative of the upper bound coincides with the lower bound for the case of mix-cascades (linear single-destination mix networks).


Venkat Anantharam received the B.Tech in Electronics in 1980 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) and the M.A. and C.Phil degrees in Mathematics and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering in 1983, 1984, 1982 and 1986 respectively, from the University of California at Berkeley (UCB). From 1986 to 1994 he was on the faculty of the School of EE at Cornell University. From 1994 he has been on the faculty of the EECS department at UCB .

Anantharam received the Philips India Medal and the President of India Gold Medal from IIT -M in 1980, and an NSF Presidential Young Investigator award (1988 -1993). He a co-recipient of the 1998 Prize Paper award of the IEEE Information Theory Society (with S. VerdĂș) and a co-recipient of the 2000 Stephen O. Rice Prize Paper award of the IEEE Communications Theory Society (with N. Mckeown and J. Walrand). He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT -M in 2008. He is a Fellow of the IEEE .

This talk is part of the Optimization and Incentives Seminar series.

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