Josep Domingo-Ferrer, Agusti Solanas

Information Sciences 178 (24), 4644-4655

Description: The need for measuring the dispersion of nominal categorical attributes appears in several applications, like clustering or data anonymization. For a nominal attribute whose categories can be hierarchically classified, a measure of the variance of a sample drawn from that attribute is proposed which takes the attribute’s hierarchy into account. The new measure is the reciprocal of “consanguinity”: the less related the nominal categories in the sample, the higher the measured variance. For non-hierarchical nominal attributes, the proposed measure yields results consistent with previous diversity indicators. Applications of the new nominal variance measure to economic diversity measurement and data anonymization are also discussed.

Agusti Solanas, Jordi Castellà-Roca

Recent Patents on Electrical & Electronic Engineering (Formerly Recent Patents on Electrical Engineering) 1 (1), 22-31

Description: Health care is the linchpin of a developed society. The general trend in developed countries is to increase public spending to improve the quality of health care. However, the economic model applied to the health care sector varies from one country to another. There are models in which health care costs are mainly supported by governments. On the contrary, there are other economic models such as the “fee-for-service" model in which patients pay for the services like in any other service industry. Whichever model is used, technology can help increase the efficiency of the service and the reliability of the diagnoses. Specially, Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) technology can drastically improve the processing times associated to medical records retrieval, dispensing of medications, personnel management, etc. In this article, we explore some of the most relevant patents, which propose the use of the RFID technology in the health care sector. We provide an overview of the field and a classification of the patents in several categories, being the aim to facilitate the task of researchers, practitioners and managers when looking for patents in this field. Moreover, we analyse a recent and relevant patent application from KodakTM that provides a system for monitoring the ingestion of medicines by means of digestible RFID tags attached to the medicines.

Rolando Trujillo-Rasua, Agusti Solanas, Pablo A Pérez-Martínez, Josep Domingo-Ferrer

Computers in Industry 63 (6), 557-573

Description: Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a technology aimed at efficiently identifying products that has greatly influenced the manufacturing businesses in recent years. Although the RFID technology has been widely accepted by the manufacturing and retailing sectors, there are still many issues regarding its scalability, security and privacy. With regard to privacy, the sharing of identification information amongst multiple parties is also an issue (especially after the massive outsourcing that is taking place in our global market). Securely and efficiently sharing iden- tification information with multiple parties is a tough problem that must be considered so as to avert the undesired disclosure of confidential information. Specially in the context of supply chain management. In this article, we propose a private and scalable protocol for RFID col- laborative readers to securely identify RFID tags. We define the general concepts of “next reader predictor” (NRP) and “previous reader predictor” (PRP) used by the readers to predict the trajectories of tags and collaborate efficiently. We also propose a specific Markov-based predictor implementa- tion. By the very nature of our distributed protocol, the collaborative readers can naturally help in mitigating the problem of sharing identification infor- mation amongst multiple parties securely, which is essential in the context of supply chain management. The experimental results show that our proposal outperforms previous approaches.

Constantinos Patsakis, Athanasios Zigomitros, Achilleas Papageorgiou, Agusti Solanas

The Computer Journal 58 (4), 518-535

Description: A key aspect of online social networks (OSNs) is the user-generated multimedia content shared online. OSNs like Facebook have to deal with up to 300 million photos uploaded on a daily basis, both video- and audio-related social networks have also started to gain important shares of the market. Although the security and privacy mechanisms deployed by OSNs can cope with several risks and discourage inexperienced users from malicious behaviours, many issues still need to be addressed. Uploaded multimedia content carries information that could be transmitted virally and almost instantaneously within OSNs and beyond. OSNs could be seen as a multimedia heaven for users. However, in many cases they might end up being the user’s personal hell with information disclosure or distortion, contrary to his/her will. In this article, we outline the most significant security and privacy issues related to the exposure of multimedia content in OSNs and we discuss possible countermeasures.

Hatem A Rashwan, Agusti Solanas, Domènec Puig, Antoni Martínez-Ballesté

International Journal of Information Security 13 (3), 223-234

Description: Recent advances in pervasive video surveillance systems pave the way for a comprehensive surveillance of every aspect of our lives, hence, leading us to a state of dataveillance. Computerized and interconnected systems of cameras could be used to profile, track and monitor individuals for the sake of security. Notwithstanding, these systems clearly interfere with the fundamental right of the individuals to privacy. Most literature on privacy in video surveillance systems concentrates on the goal of detecting faces and other regions of interest and in proposing different methods to protect them. However, the trustworthiness of those systems and, by extension, of the privacy they provide are mostly neglected. In this article, we define the concept of trustworthy privacy-aware video surveillance system. Moreover, we assess the techniques proposed in the literature according to their suitability for such a video surveillance system. Finally, we describe the properties that a deployment of a trustworthy video surveillance system must fulfill.

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