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DP-Fast MH: Private, Fast, and Accurate Metropolis-Hastings for Large-Scale Bayesian Inference

Wanrong Zhang · Ruqi Zhang

Exhibit Hall 1 #234


Bayesian inference provides a principled framework for learning from complex data and reasoning under uncertainty. It has been widely applied in machine learning tasks such as medical diagnosis, drug design, and policymaking. In these common applications, data can be highly sensitive. Differential privacy (DP) offers data analysis tools with powerful worst-case privacy guarantees and has been developed as the leading approach in privacy-preserving data analysis. In this paper, we study Metropolis-Hastings (MH), one of the most fundamental MCMC methods, for large-scale Bayesian inference under differential privacy. While most existing private MCMC algorithms sacrifice accuracy and efficiency to obtain privacy, we provide the first exact and fast DP MH algorithm, using only a minibatch of data in most iterations. We further reveal, for the first time, a three-way trade-off among privacy, scalability (i.e. the batch size), and efficiency (i.e. the convergence rate), theoretically characterizing how privacy affects the utility and computational cost in Bayesian inference. We empirically demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our algorithm in various experiments.

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