Multimedia Databases and Security{1}

by Jennifer R
The author first examines the different types of architecture available for constructing a  multimedia database. The roles of managing both metadata and multimedia can be delegated to the database management software, or a separate file manager can be delegated to handle the multimedia alone. Metadata is discussed, as audio and video data can require a great quantity of metadata. The author says “in the case of video data, one may need to maintain information about the various frames.” Multimedia data mining is also of concern, as it differs from data mining in a traditional database. The author explains that “data mining models data as a collection of similar but independent entities. The goal of data mining is to search for patterns that are common to many of these entities. ” The subtle details for identifying things we see in pictures and videos makes it difficult to fit multimedia data mining to traditional data mining. The author demonstrates this with an example, saying “pictures and video of different buildings have some similarity—each represents a view of a building—but without clear structure such as ‘these are pictures of the front of buildings’ it is difficult to relate multimedia mining to traditional data mining.” Due to the complexity of multimedia, the author suggests an end-to-end security approach, where we ensure every component of the system is secured.

There are a number of methods to secure a multimedia database. The author discusses placing checkpoints between the data manager and the data collector as well as partitioning the data by degree of classification. We can look at data models to determine how security is and should be handled. Security at the transaction level is a potential issue, an example of a transaction being someone updating the database. Metadata should be looked at as well, as some metadata may necessitate higher security than the data itself. The author points out that inference from data queries is a concern, as users may receive legitimate data from their queries but infer information from the query that they are not authorized to know.

I found this article interesting as we have only been discussing databases containing information in the form of text and numbers. The article goes into great detail about the differences of multimedia compared to regular data. I did expect that storing pictures, videos and audio clips would increase the complexity of designing and maintaining the database, but not that it would make security more complex as well.


Source: Thuraisingham, B. (2007) Security and Privacy for Multimedia Database Management Systems. Multimedia Tools and Applications, 33(1). Retrieved May 10, 2012 from