Moderator: Gautam Kamath

Wed 26 Jul 7 p.m. PDT
— 8:30 p.m. PDT

Abstract:

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Wed 26 July 19:00 - 19:08 PDT

Ian Waudby-Smith · Steven Wu · Aaditya Ramdas

This work derives methods for performing nonparametric, nonasymptotic statistical inference for population means under the constraint of local differential privacy (LDP). Given bounded observations $(X_1, \dots, X_n)$ with mean $\mu^\star$ that are privatized into $(Z_1, \dots, Z_n)$, we present confidence intervals (CI) and time-uniform confidence sequences (CS) for $\mu^\star$ when only given access to the privatized data. To achieve this, we introduce a nonparametric and sequentially interactive generalization of Warner's famous ``randomized response'' mechanism, satisfying LDP for arbitrary bounded random variables, and then provide CIs and CSs for their means given access to the resulting privatized observations. For example, our results yield private analogues of Hoeffding's inequality in both fixed-time and time-uniform regimes. We extend these Hoeffding-type CSs to capture time-varying (non-stationary) means, and conclude by illustrating how these methods can be used to conduct private online A/B tests.

Wed 26 July 19:08 - 19:16 PDT

Jacob Imola · Alessandro Epasto · Mohammad Mahdian · Vincent Cohen-Addad · Vahab Mirrokni

Hierarchical Clustering is a popular unsupervised machine learning method with decades of history and numerous applications. We initiate the study of *differentially-private* approximation algorithms for hierarchical clustering under the rigorous framework introduced by Dasgupta (2016). We show strong lower bounds for the problem: that any $\epsilon$-DP algorithm must exhibit $O(|V|^2/ \epsilon)$-additive error for an input dataset $V$. Then, we exhibit a polynomial-time approximation algorithm with $O(|V|^{2.5}/ \epsilon)$-additive error, and an exponential-time algorithm that meets the lower bound. To overcome the lower bound, we focus on the stochastic block model, a popular model of graphs, and, with a separation assumption on the blocks, propose a private $1+o(1)$ approximation algorithm which also recovers the blocks exactly. Finally, we perform an empirical study of our algorithms and validate their performance.

Wed 26 July 19:16 - 19:24 PDT

Hao WU · Olga Ohrimenko · Anthony Wirth

We study the top-$k$ selection problem under the differential privacy model: $m$ items are rated according to votes of a set of clients. We consider a setting in which algorithms can retrieve data via a sequence of accesses, each either a random access or a sorted access; the goal is to minimize the total number of data accesses. Our algorithm requires only $O(\sqrt{mk})$ expected accesses: to our knowledge, this is the first sublinear data-access upper bound for this problem. Our analysis also shows that the well-known exponential mechanism requires only $O(\sqrt{m})$ expected accesses. Accompanying this, we develop the first lower bounds for the problem, in three settings: only random accesses; only sorted accesses; a sequence of accesses of either kind. We show that, to avoid $\Omega(m)$ access cost, supporting *both* kinds of access is necessary, and that in this case our algorithm's access cost is optimal.

Wed 26 July 19:24 - 19:32 PDT

Drew Prinster · Suchi Saria · Anqi Liu

We study the efficient estimation of predictive confidence intervals for black-box predictors when the common data exchangeability (e.g., i.i.d.) assumption is violated due to potentially feedback-induced shifts in the input data distribution. That is, we focus on standard and feedback covariate shift (FCS), where the latter allows for feedback dependencies between train and test data that occur in many decision-making scenarios like experimental design. Whereas prior conformal prediction methods for this problem are in general either extremely computationally demanding or make inefficient use of labeled data, we propose a collection of methods based on the jackknife+ that achieve a practical balance of computational and statistical efficiency. Theoretically, our proposed JAW-FCS method extends the rigorous, finite-sample coverage guarantee of the jackknife+ to FCS. We moreover propose two tunable relaxations to JAW-FCS's computation that maintain finite-sample guarantees: one using only $K$ leave-one-out models (JAW-$K$LOO) and a second building on $K$-fold cross validation+ (WCV+). Practically, we demonstrate that JAW-FCS and its computational relaxations outperform state-of-the-art baselines on a variety of real-world datasets under standard and feedback covariate shift, including for biomolecular design and active learning tasks.

Wed 26 July 19:32 - 19:40 PDT

El Mehdi Saad · Nicolas Verzelen · Alexandra Carpentier

We consider the problem of ranking n experts based on their performances on d tasks. We make a monotonicity assumption stating that for each pair of experts, one outperforms the other on all tasks. We consider the sequential setting where in each round the learner has access to noisy evaluations of actively chosen pair of expert-task, given the information available up to the actual round. Given a confidence parameter $\delta \in (0, 1)$, we provide strategies allowing to recover the correct ranking of experts and develop a bound on the total number of queries made by our algorithm that hold with probability at least $1-\delta$. We show that our strategy is adaptive to the complexity of the problem (our bounds are instance dependent), and develop matching lower bounds up to a ploy-logarithmic factor. Finally, we adapt our strategy to the relaxed problem of best expert identification and provide numerical simulation consistent with our theoretical results

Wed 26 July 19:40 - 19:48 PDT

Palak Jain · Sofya Raskhodnikova · Satchit Sivakumar · Adam Smith

We study the accuracy of differentially private mechanisms in the continual release model. A continual release mechanism receives a sensitive dataset as a stream of $T$ inputs and produces, after receiving each input, an output that is accurate for all the inputs received so far. We provide the first strong lower bounds on the error of continual release mechanisms. In particular, for two fundamental problems that are closely related to empirical risk minimization and widely studied and used in the standard (batch) model, we prove that the worst case error of every continual release algorithm is $\tilde \Omega(T^{1/3})$ times larger than that of the best batch algorithm. Previous work shows only a $\Omega(\log T)$ gap between the worst case error achievable in these two models. We also formulate a model that allows for adaptively selected inputs, thus capturing dependencies that arise in many applications of continual release. Even though, in general, both privacy and accuracy are harder to attain in this model, we show that our lower bounds are matched by the error of simple algorithms that work even for adaptively selected inputs.

Wed 26 July 19:48 - 19:56 PDT

Seewoo Lee · Garam Lee · Jung Woo Kim · Junbum Shin · Mun-Kyu Lee

Transfer learning is a de facto standard method for efficiently training machine learning models for data-scarce problems by adding and fine-tuning new classification layers to a model pre-trained on large datasets. Although numerous previous studies proposed to use homomorphic encryption to resolve the data privacy issue in transfer learning in the machine learning as a service setting, most of them only focused on encrypted inference. In this study, we present HETAL, an efficient Homomorphic Encryption based Transfer Learning algorithm, that protects the client's privacy in training tasks by encrypting the client data using the CKKS homomorphic encryption scheme. HETAL is the first practical scheme that strictly provides encrypted training, adopting validation-based early stopping and achieving the accuracy of nonencrypted training. We propose an efficient encrypted matrix multiplication algorithm, which is 1.8 to 323 times faster than prior methods, and a highly precise softmax approximation algorithm with increased coverage. The experimental results for five well-known benchmark datasets show total training times of 567--3442 seconds, which is less than an hour.

Wed 26 July 19:56 - 20:04 PDT

Jonathan Hehir · Daniel Ting · Graham Cormode

Data sketching is a critical tool for distinct counting, enabling multisets to be represented by compact summaries that admit fast cardinality estimates. Because sketches may be merged to summarize multiset unions, they are a basic building block in data warehouses. Although many practical sketches for cardinality estimation exist, none provide privacy when merging. We propose the first practical cardinality sketches that are simultaneously mergeable, differentially private (DP), and have low empirical errors. These introduce a novel randomized algorithm for performing logical operations on noisy bits, a tight privacy analysis, and provably optimal estimation. Our sketches dramatically outperform existing theoretical solutions in simulations and on real-world data.

Wed 26 July 20:04 - 20:12 PDT

Tal Wagner · Yonatan Naamad · Nina Mishra

We study efficient mechanisms for differentially private kernel density estimation (DP-KDE). Prior work for the Gaussian kernel described algorithms that run in time exponential in the number of dimensions $d$. This paper breaks the exponential barrier, and shows how the KDE can privately be approximated in time linear in $d$, making it feasible for high-dimensional data. We also present improved bounds for low-dimensional data. Our results are obtained through a general framework, which we term Locality Sensitive Quantization (LSQ), for constructing private KDE mechanisms where existing KDE approximation techniques can be applied. It lets us leverage several efficient non-private KDE methods---like Random Fourier Features, the Fast Gauss Transform, and Locality Sensitive Hashing---and ``privatize'' them in a black-box manner. Our experiments demonstrate that our resulting DP-KDE mechanisms are fast and accurate on large datasets in both high and low dimensions.

Wed 26 July 20:12 - 20:20 PDT

Christopher Choquette-Choo · Hugh B McMahan · J K Rush · Abhradeep Guha Thakurta

We introduce new differentially private (DP) mechanisms for gradient-based machine learning (ML) with multiple passes (epochs) over a dataset, substantially improving the achievable privacy-utility-computation tradeoffs. We formalize the problem of DP mechanisms for adaptive streams with multiple participations and introduce a non-trivial extension of online matrix factorization DP mechanisms to our setting. This includes establishing the necessary theory for sensitivity calculations and efficient computation of optimal matrices. For some applications like $>\!\! 10,000$ SGD steps, applying these optimal techniques becomes computationally expensive. We thus design an efficient Fourier-transform-based mechanism with only a minor utility loss. Extensive empirical evaluation on both example-level DP for image classification and user-level DP for language modeling demonstrate substantial improvements over all previous methods, including the widely-used DP-SGD. Though our primary application is to ML, our main DP results are applicable to arbitrary linear queries and hence may have much broader applicability.