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Privacy 3

Moderator: Ran Gilad-Bachrach


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Thu 22 July 7:00 - 7:20 PDT

Private Alternating Least Squares: Practical Private Matrix Completion with Tighter Rates

Steve Chien · Prateek Jain · Walid Krichene · Steffen Rendle · Shuang Song · Abhradeep Guha Thakurta · Li Zhang

We study the problem of differentially private (DP) matrix completion under user-level privacy. We design a joint differentially private variant of the popular Alternating-Least-Squares (ALS) method that achieves: i) (nearly) optimal sample complexity for matrix completion (in terms of number of items, users), and ii) the best known privacy/utility trade-off both theoretically, as well as on benchmark data sets. In particular, we provide the first global convergence analysis of ALS with noise introduced to ensure DP, and show that, in comparison to the best known alternative (the Private Frank-Wolfe algorithm by Jain et al. (2018)), our error bounds scale significantly better with respect to the number of items and users, which is critical in practical problems. Extensive validation on standard benchmarks demonstrate that the algorithm, in combination with carefully designed sampling procedures, is significantly more accurate than existing techniques, thus promising to be the first practical DP embedding model.

Thu 22 July 7:20 - 7:25 PDT

Enhancing Robustness of Neural Networks through Fourier Stabilization

Netanel Raviv · Aidan Kelley · Minzhe Guo · Yevgeniy Vorobeychik

Despite the considerable success of neural networks in security settings such as malware detection, such models have proved vulnerable to evasion attacks, in which attackers make slight changes to inputs (e.g., malware) to bypass detection. We propose a novel approach, Fourier stabilization, for designing evasion-robust neural networks with binary inputs. This approach, which is complementary to other forms of defense, replaces the weights of individual neurons with robust analogs derived using Fourier analytic tools. The choice of which neurons to stabilize in a neural network is then a combinatorial optimization problem, and we propose several methods for approximately solving it. We provide a formal bound on the per-neuron drop in accuracy due to Fourier stabilization, and experimentally demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach in boosting robustness of neural networks in several detection settings. Moreover, we show that our approach effectively composes with adversarial training.

Thu 22 July 7:25 - 7:30 PDT

Quantifying Availability and Discovery in Recommender Systems via Stochastic Reachability

Mihaela Curmei · Sarah Dean · Benjamin Recht

In this work, we consider how preference models in interactive recommendation systems determine the availability of content and users' opportunities for discovery. We propose an evaluation procedure based on stochastic reachability to quantify the maximum probability of recommending a target piece of content to an user for a set of allowable strategic modifications. This framework allows us to compute an upper bound on the likelihood of recommendation with minimal assumptions about user behavior. Stochastic reachability can be used to detect biases in the availability of content and diagnose limitations in the opportunities for discovery granted to users. We show that this metric can be computed efficiently as a convex program for a variety of practical settings, and further argue that reachability is not inherently at odds with accuracy. We demonstrate evaluations of recommendation algorithms trained on large datasets of explicit and implicit ratings. Our results illustrate how preference models, selection rules, and user interventions impact reachability and how these effects can be distributed unevenly.

Thu 22 July 7:30 - 7:35 PDT

Byzantine-Resilient High-Dimensional SGD with Local Iterations on Heterogeneous Data

Deepesh Data · Suhas Diggavi

We study stochastic gradient descent (SGD) with local iterations in the presence of Byzantine clients, motivated by the federated learning. The clients, instead of communicating with the server in every iteration, maintain their local models, which they update by taking several SGD iterations based on their own datasets and then communicate the net update with the server, thereby achieving communication-efficiency. Furthermore, only a subset of clients communicates with the server at synchronization times. The Byzantine clients may collude and send arbitrary vectors to the server to disrupt the learning process. To combat the adversary, we employ an efficient high-dimensional robust mean estimation algorithm at the server to filter-out corrupt vectors; and to analyze the outlier-filtering procedure, we develop a novel matrix concentration result that may be of independent interest. We provide convergence analyses for both strongly-convex and non-convex smooth objectives in the heterogeneous data setting. We believe that ours is the first Byzantine-resilient local SGD algorithm and analysis with non-trivial guarantees. We corroborate our theoretical results with preliminary experiments for neural network training.

Thu 22 July 7:35 - 7:40 PDT

RNNRepair: Automatic RNN Repair via Model-based Analysis

Xiaofei Xie · Wenbo Guo · Lei Ma · Wei Le · Jian Wang · Lingjun Zhou · Yang Liu · Xinyu Xing

Deep neural networks are vulnerable to adversarial attacks. Due to their black-box nature, it is rather challenging to interpret and properly repair these incorrect behaviors. This paper focuses on interpreting and repairing the incorrect behaviors of Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs). We propose a lightweight model-based approach (RNNRepair) to help understand and repair incorrect behaviors of an RNN. Specifically, we build an influence model to characterize the stateful and statistical behaviors of an RNN over all the training data and to perform the influence analysis for the errors. Compared with the existing techniques on influence function, our method can efficiently estimate the influence of existing or newly added training samples for a given prediction at both sample level and segmentation level. Our empirical evaluation shows that the proposed influence model is able to extract accurate and understandable features. Based on the influence model, our proposed technique could effectively infer the influential instances from not only an entire testing sequence but also a segment within that sequence. Moreover, with the sample-level and segment-level influence relations, RNNRepair could further remediate two types of incorrect predictions at the sample level and segment level.

Thu 22 July 7:40 - 7:45 PDT

Adversarial Policy Learning in Two-player Competitive Games

Wenbo Guo · Xian Wu · Sui Huang · Xinyu Xing

In a two-player deep reinforcement learning task, recent work shows an attacker could learn an adversarial policy that triggers a target agent to perform poorly and even react in an undesired way. However, its efficacy heavily relies upon the zero-sum assumption made in the two-player game. In this work, we propose a new adversarial learning algorithm. It addresses the problem by resetting the optimization goal in the learning process and designing a new surrogate optimization function. Our experiments show that our method significantly improves adversarial agents' exploitability compared with the state-of-art attack. Besides, we also discover that our method could augment an agent with the ability to abuse the target game's unfairness. Finally, we show that agents adversarially re-trained against our adversarial agents could obtain stronger adversary-resistance.

Thu 22 July 7:45 - 7:50 PDT

Fairness of Exposure in Stochastic Bandits

Luke Lequn Wang · Yiwei Bai · Wen Sun · Thorsten Joachims

Contextual bandit algorithms have become widely used for recommendation in online systems (e.g. marketplaces, music streaming, news), where they now wield substantial influence on which items get shown to users. This raises questions of fairness to the items --- and to the sellers, artists, and writers that benefit from this exposure. We argue that the conventional bandit formulation can lead to an undesirable and unfair winner-takes-all allocation of exposure. To remedy this problem, we propose a new bandit objective that guarantees merit-based fairness of exposure to the items while optimizing utility to the users. We formulate fairness regret and reward regret in this setting and present algorithms for both stochastic multi-armed bandits and stochastic linear bandits. We prove that the algorithms achieve sublinear fairness regret and reward regret. Beyond the theoretical analysis, we also provide empirical evidence that these algorithms can allocate exposure to different arms effectively.

Thu 22 July 7:50 - 7:55 PDT