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Searching secrets rationally

Michele Boreale () and Fabio Corradi ()
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Michele Boreale: Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti", Università di Firenze, https://www.disia.unifi.it
Fabio Corradi: Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti", Università di Firenze, https://www.disia.unifi.it

No 2015_05, Econometrics Working Papers Archive from Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti"

Abstract: We study quantitative information flow, from the perspective of an analyst who is interested in maximizing its expected gain in the process of discovering a secret, or settling a hypothesis, represented by an unobservable X , after observing some Y related to X . In our framework, inspired by Bayesian decision theory, discovering the secret has an associated reward, while the investigation of the set of possibilities prompted by the observation has a cost. We characterize the optimal strategy for the analyst and the corresponding expected gain (payoff) in a variety of situations. We argue about the importance of advantage , defined as the increment in expected gain after the observation if the analyst acts optimally, and representing the value of the information conveyed by Y . We also argue that the proposed strategy is more effective than others, based on probability coverage. Applications to cryptographic systems and to familial DNA searching are examined.

Keywords: Confidentiality; quantitative information flow; decision theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D89 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 19 pages
Date: 2015-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mic
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