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On integrating the number of synthetic data sets m into the a priori synthesis approach

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Publication date14/09/2022
Host publicationPrivacy in Statistical Databases: International Conference, PSD 2022, Paris, France, September 21–23, 2022, Proceedings
EditorsJosep Domingo-Ferrer, Maryline Laurent
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages15
ISBN (electronic)9783031139451
ISBN (print)9783031139444
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
PublisherSpringer Cham
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (electronic)1611-3349


The synthesis mechanism given in Jackson et al. (2022) uses saturated models, along with overdispersed count distributions, to generate synthetic categorical data. The mechanism is controlled by tuning parameters, which can be tuned according to a specific risk or utility metric. Thus expected properties of synthetic data sets can be determined analytically a priori, that is, before they are generated. While Jackson et al. (2022) considered the case of generating = 1 data set, this paper considers generating > 1 data sets. In effect, m becomes a tuning parameter and the role of m in relation to the risk-utility trade-off can be shown analytically. The paper introduces a pair of risk metrics, τ3(k,d) and τ4(k,d) that are suited to > 1 data sets; and also considers the more general issue of how best to analyse categorical data sets: average the data sets pre-analysis or average results post-analysis. Finally, the methods are demonstrated empirically with the synthesis of a constructed data set which is used to represent the English School Census.