< COMSYS Workshop on Industry/Research Collaborations
23.11.2016 10:36 Age: 151 days

COMSYS finishes runner-up in 2016 iDASH Secure Genome Analysis Competition

The COMSYS team developed a solution for searching an encrypted database for other patients with matching disease markers. The implemented solution is efficient and can be fully outsourced to the cloud. With this approach, our team finished runner-up to Microsoft Research in the iDASH Secure Genome Analysis Competition 2016.


As part of our Research Focus Class (RFC), we invited our most committed students to participate in the iDASH Secure Genome Analysis Competition. The RFCs are a unique COMSYS teaching format that provides a hands-on research experience to high potential Master students with a strong interest in pursueing a PhD. In this edition of the RFC, David Hellmanns, Ike Kunze, Sven Linden, Jan Metzke, Marco Moscher, Jan Pennekamp and Felix Schwinger took up on the challenge under the supervision of Martin Henze, Jens Hiller, Roman Matzutt, Jan Henrik Ziegeldorf and Prof. Klaus Wehrle.

Over the course of the summer semester, our students developed solutions to two of the three competition tracks. In Track 2, our students desigend and implemented privacy-preserving similarity queries based on the edit distance metric using Garbled Circuits and efficient approximations. Using this approach, a database of genomes can be efficiently searched for the top k most similar genomes given a query genome of a treated patient. In Track 3, we developed and implemented an efficient privacy-preserving matching algorithm based on bloom filters and using Homomorphic Encryption. The developed algorithm allows to calculate the probability of genetic diseases through matching a set of biomarkers to encrypted genomes that are stored in a commercial untrusted cloud service.

The winners of the competition were invited to present their results at the iDASH Security & Privacy Workshop 2016 in Chicago, IL, USA, where the COMSYS team was awarded the runner-up award for Track 3. The whole COMSYS team thanks the RFC participants for their excellent performance and congratulates them for this outstanding achievement!