Nevin Manimala Statistics

A comparative study of randomized response techniques using separate and combined metrics of efficiency and privacy

PLoS One. 2023 Oct 27;18(10):e0293628. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0293628. eCollection 2023.


In social surveys, the randomized response technique can be considered a popular method for collecting reliable information on sensitive variables. Over the past few decades, it has been a common practice that survey researchers develop new randomized response techniques and show their improvement over previous models. In majority of the available research studies, the authors tend to report only those findings which are favorable to their proposed models. They often tend to hide the situations where their proposed randomized response models perform worse than the already available models. This approach results in biased comparisons between models which may influence the decision of practitioners about the choice of a randomized response technique for real-life problems. We conduct a neutral comparative study of four available quantitative randomized response techniques using separate and combined metrics of respondents’ privacy level and model’s efficiency. Our findings show that, depending on the particular situation at hand, some models may be better than the other models for a particular choice of values of parameters and constants. However, they become less efficient when a different set of parameter values are considered. The mathematical conditions for efficiency of different models have also been obtained.

PMID:37889902 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0293628

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