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Bachelor Thesis: Utilizing Location and Context Data for Access Control in Mobile Social Networks


Utilizing Location and Context Data for Access Control in Mobile Social Networks


Over the past decade, online social networks moved more and more towards mobile devices. With their positioning capabilities, smartphones are optimal devices for supporting location-based scenarios. Furthermore, smartphones are capable of collecting context data, e.g., music listened to, location history, movement, etc. In traditional online social networks, access to profiles can usually only be configured based on explicit friendship relations. Furthermore, preferences (“likes”) are based on explicit user feedback. The idea for this thesis is to utilize implicitly collected context data for access control to a social profile.
Imagine the following user scenario: In her daily life, Alice collects context data about herself on her smartphone, e.g., music she listened to, a location history of places she went to, or some activity index indicating her fitness. This data is stored – along with a profile picture and some information about herself – in her social profile. With her context data, e.g., fitness index or favorite music artists, she can set up some access rules for her social profile. For example, she could be limiting access to her profile to people with a similar taste in music or a similar activity index. One evening, Alice goes to a rather big party where she does not know anyone. With her smartphone, she is able to retrieve a list of other users nearby. The people around her can do so as well and can access her profile – depending on the access control rules Alice has set up, they can see differing amounts of her social profile. With such an online social network system, Alice can in turn find out information about the relevant people around her.

The goal of the thesis is the development of a system that supports the collection of context data and the utilization of such context data for access control for social profiles. This includes the following tasks:

- Provide an overview on the state of the art of location/context based access control mechanisms.

- Conduct a detailed requirement analysis for the described user scenario.

- Research what location and context data can be considered. What could be useful? What is feasible?

- Investigate and develop feasible data models for collected location and context data.

- Design a location-based online social network system that enables its users to set up access control to their social profile based on location and context data.

- Prototypical implementation of the system.

- Evaluation of the system’s functionality.

Supervisor: Felix Beierle

Type:  Bachelor Thesis

Duration: 4 months

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Service-centric Networking
Telekom Innovation Laboratories
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