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Title: Robustly inferring identity across digital and physical worlds
Author: Lu, Xiaoxuan
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 0454
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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A long-term vision within the realm of ubiquitous computing is the creation of smart, digital environments that provide seamless human-computer interaction, allowing computation to recede into the background of everyday life. Key to realizing this vision is the ability for machines to recognize people, so that spaces can become truly personalized. However, the unpredictability of real-world environments impacts robust recognition, limiting usability. In real conditions, human identification systems have to handle issues such as out-of-set subjects and domain deviations, where conventional supervised learning approaches for training and inference are poorly suited. The inability of supervised methods to cope with this inherent diversity could be overcome if equivalently diverse training data were readily available. Unfortunately, obtaining such comprehensive training datasets would incur huge enrolment effort and would be costly to stage. With the rapid development of Internet of Things (IoT), we advocate a new labelling method in this thesis that exploits signals of opportunity hidden in heterogeneous IoT data. The key insight is that one sensor modality can leverage the signals measured by other co-located sensor modalities to improve its own labelling performance. If identity associations between heterogeneous sensor data can be discovered, it is possible to automatically label data, leading to more robust human recognition, without manual labelling or enrolment. We believe that many currently unsolved identification problems could be addressed through our advocated concept. Specifically, this thesis demonstrates that leveraging the signals of opportunity in physical and digital observations of subjects can overcome many obstacles surrounding robust human identification, and we comprehensively tackle this in a number of research threads. Firstly, we propose scan, a general algorithm for cross-modality association, designed to automatically label biometric data sensed in the wild. Secondly, in order to mitigate the errors in the automatically labelled data, we further present autotune, a generic framework that iteratively adapts the biometric model and updates sensor observations. Lastly, we comprehensively investigate the privacy implication of our advocated concept, with an application on smartwatch password inference and countermeasures. We demonstrate snoopy, a password inference framework which is able to accurately intercept passwords entered on the touchscreens of smartwatches of out-of-set victims, just by eavesdropping on motion sensors. To mitigate this attack, we propose a countermeasure deepauth, which is a second-factor authentication system on smartwatches based on behavioural signatures. We prove that the co-located secondary sensor not only can be maliciously used as a leakage channel, but can be effectively employed as a defence channel as well. All the proposed approaches are comprehensively evaluated through large-scale experiments and the results demonstrate their potential impact in a broad spectrum of identification scenarios.
Supervisor: Trigoni, Niki ; Markham, Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available