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Dr Mu Yang

Mu Yang @The Open University

Professional biography

I am a Research Associate at the Centre for Research in Computing of The Open University. I joined the Open University in October 2013, and have been working on the advanced research grant Adaptive Security and Privacy funded by European Research Council. My current research interest is (i) adaptive privacy for online social networks, and (ii) adaptive differential privacy on time-series data (e.g., smart meter, Fitbit data). 

I received my Ph.D. from the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, under supervision of Professor Vladimiro Sassone and advice of Dr. Sardaouna Hamadou. While at ECS in Southampton, I was affilliated with the Academic Centre of Exellence in Cybersecurity

Research interests

My research focuses on Security and Data Privacy. I am interested in studying agents' selfish/cooperative incentives in peer-to-peer networks as well as the design of cooperation mechanism with the help of Game Theory and Mechansim Design Theory to make systems run as planned/designed. The application that I have been investigating is anonymity networks (e.g., Tor). I have also interested in the enhancement of security, performance of anonymity networks.

My research also has an angle in data privacy, especially data anonymisation. 

My new research interest is adaptive privacy and personalised privacy. In particular, I have been looking at how to engineer adaptive systems that can continuously satisfy the changing privacy requirements of its users. The application that I have been investigating is

(I) Online social networks: help OSN users pick the right audience at runtime;

(II) Time-series data: propose a new definition, Adaptive Differential Privacy, which extends the original definition of differential privacy by considering users' privacy requirements and contexts; propose an obfuscation mechanism for releasing time-series data (e.g., smart meter readings, health data, IoT sensor data, etc.) to guarantee privacy and maintain data utility at the same time.

My research draws from sub-dicplines of Comupter Science such as theoretice computer science, agents and game theory, software engineering. 

Teaching interests

Game Theory and Applications, Intelligient Systems, Network Security, Data Privacy.

Impact and engagement

External collaborations

Right now, I have the pleasure to work with a number of amazing people, including colleagues at the Open University.

Vladimiro Sassone (Professor @ ECS, University of Southampton)

Bashar Nuseibeh (Professor @ The Open University)

Sardaouna Hamadou (Researcher @ LIX, Ecole Polytechnique)

Yijun Yu (Senior Lecturer @ The Open University)

Arosha Bandara (Senior Lecturer @ The Open University)

Liliana Pasquale (Research Fellow @ Lero, University of Limerick)

Fayola Peters (Research Associate @ Lero, University of Limerick)

Manos Panaousis (Lecturer @ University of Brighton)


An analysis of trust in anonymity networks in the presence of adaptive attackers (2015-02)
Hamadou, Sardaouna; Vladimiro, Sassone and Yang, Mu
Mathematical Structures in Computer Science, 25(2) (pp. 429-456)
Annex 3: Practical examples of some key anonymisation techniques (2012)
Yang, Mu; Sassone, Vladimiro and O'Hara , Kieron
In: Information Commissioner's Office, (ICO) ed. Anonymisation: Managing Data Protection Risk: Code of Practice (pp. 80-103)
Publisher : Information Commissioner's Office | Published : Wilmslow
Live Blackboxes: Requirements for Tracking and Verifying Aircraft in Motion (2017-01-09)
Yu, Yijun; Yang, Mu and Nuseibeh, Bashar
In : SCiA 2017 : 4th Software Challenges in Aerospace Symposium (9–13 January 2017, Grapevine, Texas)
Adaptive sharing for online social networks: a trade-off between privacy risk and social benefit (2014-09-24)
Yang, Mu; Yu, Yijun; Bandara, Arosha and Nuseibeh, Bashar
In : 13th IEEE International Conference on Trust, Security and Privacy in Computing and Communications (IEEE TrustCom-14) (24-26 September 2014, Beijing, China) (pp. 45-52)
A game-theoretic analysis of cooperation in anonymity networks (2012)
Yang, Mu; Sassone, Vladimiro and Hamadou, Sardaouna
In : Principles of Security and Trust, First International Conference, POST 2012, Held as part of the European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2012 (24 March-1 April 2012, Tallinn, Estonia) (pp. 269-289)
Minimising anonymity loss in anonymity networks under DoS attacks (2011)
Yang, Mu and Sassone, Vladimiro
In : Information and Communications Security, 13th International Conference, ICICS 2011 (23-26 November, 2011, Beijing, China) (pp. 414-429)
Trust in anonymity networks (2010)
Sassone, Vladimiro; Hamadou, Sardaouna and Yang, Mu
In : CONCUR 2010-Concurrency Theory: 21st International Conference (31 August-3 September, 2010, Paris, France) (pp. 48-70)

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