Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Arif Ghafoor

Second Advisor

Krishna Madhavan

Committee Member 1

Walid G Aref

Committee Member 2

Yung-Hsiang Lu


Graph data are extensively utilized in social networks, collaboration networks, geo-social networks, and communication networks. Their growing usage in cyberspaces poses daunting security and privacy challenges. Data publication requires privacy-protection mechanisms to guard against information breaches. In addition, access control mechanisms can be used to allow controlled sharing of data. Provision of privacy-protection, access control, and data integrity for graph data require a holistic approach for data management and secure query processing. This thesis presents such an approach. In particular, the thesis addresses two notable challenges for graph databases, which are: i) how to ensure users' privacy in published graph data under an access control policy enforcement, and ii) how to verify the integrity and query results of graph datasets. To address the first challenge, a privacy-protection framework under role-based access control (RBAC) policy constraints is proposed. The design of such a framework poses a trade-off problem, which is proved to be NP-complete. Novel heuristic solutions are provided to solve the constraint problem. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first scheme that studies the trade-off between RBAC policy constraints and privacy-protection for graph data. To address the second challenge, a cryptographic security model based on Hash Message Authentic Codes (HMACs) is proposed. The model ensures integrity and completeness verification of data and query results under both two-party and third-party data distribution environments. Unique solutions based on HMACs for integrity verification of graph data are developed and detailed security analysis is provided for the proposed schemes. Extensive experimental evaluations are conducted to illustrate the performance of proposed algorithms.