Watermarking Relational Databases Using Optimization-Based Techniques


Proving ownership rights on outsourced relational databases is a crucial issue in today internet-based application environment and in many content distribution applications. In this paper, we present a mechanism for proof of ownership based on the secure embedding of a robust imperceptible watermark in relational data. We formulate the watermarking of relational databases as a constrained optimization problem, and discuss efficient techniques to solve the optimization problem and to handle the constraints. Our watermarking technique is resilient to watermark synchronization errors because it uses a partitioning approach that does not require marker tuples. Our approach overcomes a major weakness in previously proposed watermarking techniques. Watermark decoding is based on a threshold-based technique characterized by an optimal threshold that minimizes the probability of decoding errors. We implemented a proof of concept implementation of our watermarking technique and showed by experimental results that our technique is resilient to tuple deletion, alteration and insertion attacks.


Security and Privacy Protection, Optimization

Date of this Version



IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering (TKDE), January 2008 (vol. 20 no. 1) pp. 116-129