Time Controlled Expressive Predicate Query With Accountable Anonymity

Yang Yang, Chunming Rong, Xianghan Zheng, Hongju Cheng, Victor Chang, Xiangyang Luo, Zuoyong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many existing searchable encryption schemes are inflexible in retrieval patterns. The data usage authorization is almost permanent valid as long as the user is not revoked. This “all-or-nothing” authorization mode is not compatible with the “pay-as-you-use” commercial billing model. In this article, we propose a new notion called time controlled expressive predicate query with accountable anonymity. It realizes time controlled data query, where a time server issues time token to authorize search privilege in designated time period. The data users can anonymously query on encrypted data and the anonymity is accountable in a way that the trusted authority is able to deanonymize data users if they misbehave in the system. The underlying techniques are anonymous credential, Pederson commitment and non-interactive zero-knowledge proof. We firstly design an efficient expressive predicate query (EPQ) scheme, which is proved secure to protect the privacy of expressive search predicate. Based on EPQ, we present a concrete system instantiation, which realizes key-escrow free and time token nontransferability. The formal definition and security models are given out. The system is formally proved indistinguishable against chosen keyword-set attacks, unforgeable of time tokens and accountable of anonymous users. The comparison and experiment results demonstrate its scalability and efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1444-1457
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Services Computing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grants 61872091, U1804263, 62172435, and 61972187, in part by Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Information Processing and Intelligent Control (Minjiang University) under Grant MJUKF-IPIC201906, in part by Science Foundation of Fujian Province of China under Grants 2019J01245 and 2020J02024, in part by Zhongyuan Science and Technology Innovation Leading Talent Project under Grant 214200510019, in part by Fuzhou Science and Technology Project under Grant 2020-RC-186, in part by Key-Area Research and Development Program of Guangdong Province under Grant 2020B0101090005.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2008-2012 IEEE.


  • Searchable encryption
  • accountable
  • anonymity
  • expressive keyword search
  • time control
  • zero-knowledge proof


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