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Journal Articles Neurocomputing Year : 2020

Generation and Evaluation of Privacy Preserving Synthetic Health Data


We develop metrics for measuring the quality of synthetic health data for both education and research. We use novel and existing metrics to capture a synthetic dataset's resemblance, privacy, utility and footprint. Using these metrics, we develop an end-to-end workflow based on our generative adversarial network (GAN) method, HealthGAN, that creates privacy preserving synthetic health data. Our workflow meets privacy specifications of our data partner: (1) the HealthGAN is trained inside a secure environment; (2) the HealthGAN model is used outside of the secure environment by external users to generate synthetic data. This second step facilitates data handling for external users by avoiding de-identification, which may require special user training, be costly, or cause loss of data fidelity. This workflow is compared against five other baseline methods. While maintaining resemblance and utility comparable to other methods, HealthGAN provides the best privacy and footprint. We present two case studies in which our methodology was put to work in the classroom and research settings. We evaluate utility in the classroom through a data analysis challenge given to students and in research by replicating three different medical papers with synthetic data. Data, code, and the challenge that we organized for educational purposes are available.
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hal-03158544 , version 1 (04-03-2021)



Andrew Yale, Saloni Dash, Ritik Dutta, Isabelle Guyon, Adrien Pavao, et al.. Generation and Evaluation of Privacy Preserving Synthetic Health Data. Neurocomputing, 2020, 416, pp.244-255. ⟨10.1016/j.neucom.2019.12.136⟩. ⟨hal-03158544⟩
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