Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Data Rank/Swapping

  • Josep Domingo-FerrerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_1497


Data swapping; Rank swapping


Data swapping was originally designed by Dalenius and Reiss [1] as a masking method for statistical disclosure control of databases containing only categorical attributes. The basic idea behind the method is to transform a database by exchanging values of confidential attributes among individual records. Records are exchanged in such a way that low-order frequency counts or marginals are maintained.

Rank swapping is a variant of data swapping [2, 3]. First, values of an attribute Xi are ranked in ascending order, then each ranked value of Xi is swapped with another ranked value randomly chosen within a restricted range (e.g., the rank of two swapped values cannot differ by more than p% of the total number of records, where p is an input parameter). This algorithm is independently used on each original attribute in the original data set.

Key Points

It is reasonable to expect that multivariate statistics computed from data swapped with...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Dalenius T, Reiss SP. Data-swapping: a technique for disclosure control (extended abstract). In: Proceedings of the ASA Section on Survey Research Methods; 1978. p. 191–4.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Domingo-Ferrer J, Torra V. A quantitative comparison of disclosure control methods for microdata. In: Doyle P, Lane JI, Theeuwes JJM, Zayatz L, editors. Confidentiality, disclosure and data access: theory and practical applications for statistical agencies. Amsterdam: North-Holland; 2001. p. 111–34.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hundepool A, Van de Wetering A, Ramaswamy R, Franconi F, Polettini S, Capobianchi A, De Wolf P-P, Domingo-Ferrer J, Torra V, Brand R, Giessing S. μ-Argus user’s manual version 4.1, February 2007.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universitat Rovira i VirgiliTarragonaSpain

Section editors and affiliations

  • Elena Ferrari
    • 1
  1. 1.DiSTAUniv. of InsubriaVareseItaly