Towards efficient authenticated subgraph query service in outsourced graph databases

Zhe Fan*, Yun Peng, Byron Choi, Jianliang Xu, Sourav S. Bhowmick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Graphs are powerful tools suitable for a large variety of applications including chemical databases and the Semantic Web, among others. A fundamental query of graph databases is the subgraph query: given a query graph q, it retrieves the data graphs from a database that contain q. Due to the cost of managing massive data coupled with the computational hardness of subgraph query processing, outsourcing the processing to a third-party service provider is an appealing alternative. However, security properties such as data integrity and the response time are critical Quality of Service (QoS) issues in query services. Unfortunately, to our knowledge, authenticated subgraph query services have not been addressed before. To support the service, we propose Merkle IFTree (MIFTree) where Merkle hash trees are applied into our Intersection-aware Feature-subgraph Tree (IFTree). IFTree aims to minimize I/O in a well-received subgraph query paradigm called the filtering-and-verification framework. The structures that need to be introduced to verification objects (VOs) and the authentication time are both minimized. Subsequently, the overall response time is minimized. For optimizations, we propose an enhanced authentication method on MIFTree. Our detailed experiments on both real and synthetic datasets demonstrate that MIFTree is clearly more efficient than a baseline method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6583915
Pages (from-to)696-713
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Transactions on Services Computing
Issue number4
Early online date21 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management

User-Defined Keywords

  • Security concerns of service-oriented solutions
  • service-oriented security enablement at software level
  • subgraph query service
  • query answer authentication
  • outsourced graph databases


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