Multi-agent based middleware for protecting privacy in IPTV content recommender services

Ahmed Elmesiry, Dmitri Botvich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This work presents our efforts to design an agent based middleware that enables the end-users to use IPTV content recommender services without revealing their sensitive preference data to the service provider or any third party involved in this process. The proposed middleware (called AMPR) preserves users' privacy when using the recommender service and permits private sharing of data among different users in the network. The proposed solution relies on a distributed multi-agent architecture involving local agents running on the end-user set up box to implement a two stage concealment process based on user role in order to conceal the local preference data of end-users when they decide to participate in recommendation process. Moreover, AMPR allows the end-users to use P3P policies exchange language (APPEL) for specifying their privacy preferences for the data extracted from their profiles, while the recommender service uses platform for privacy preferences (P3P) policies for specifying their data usage practices. AMPR executes the first stage locally at the end user side but the second stage is done at remote nodes that can be donated by multiple non-colluding end users that we will call super-peers Elmisery and Botvich (2011a, b, c); or third parties mash-up service Elmisery A, Botvich (2011a, b). Participants submit their locally obfuscated profiles anonymously to their local super-peer who collect and mix these preference data from multiple participants. The super-peer invokes AMPR to perform global perturbation process on the aggregated preference data to ensure a complete concealment of user's profiles. Then, it anonymously submits these aggregated profiles to a third party content recommender service to generate referrals without breaching participants' privacy. In this paper, we also provide an IPTV network scenario and experimentation results. Our results and analysis shows that our two-stage concealment process not only protect the users' privacy, but also can maintain the recommendation accuracy

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-275
Number of pages27
JournalMultimedia Tools and Applications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Clustering
  • IPTV networks
  • Multi-agent
  • Privacy
  • Recommender System


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