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Workshop: Theory and Practice of Differential Privacy

Differentially Private Histograms in the Shuffle Model from Fake Users

Albert Cheu

Abstract: There has been much recent work in the shuffle model of differential privacy, particularly for approximate $d$-bin histograms. While these protocols achieve low error, the number of messages sent by each user---the message complexity---has so far scaled with $d$ or the privacy parameters. The message complexity is an informative predictor of a shuffle protocol's resource consumption. We present a protocol whose message complexity is two when there are sufficiently many users. The protocol essentially pairs each row in the dataset with a fake row and performs a simple randomization on all rows. We show that the error introduced by the protocol is small, using rigorous analysis as well as experiments on real-world data. We also prove that corrupt users have a relatively low impact on our protocol's estimates.

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