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Improved Accounting for Differentially Private Learning

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We consider the problem of differential privacy accounting, i.e. estimation of privacy loss bounds, in machine learning in a broad sense. We propose two versions of a generic privacy accountant suitable for a wide range of learning algorithms. Both versions are derived in a simple and principled way using well-known tools from probability theory, such as concentration inequalities. We demonstrate that our privacy accountant is able to achieve state-of-the-art estimates of DP guarantees and can be applied to new areas like variational inference. Moreover, we show that the latter enjoys differential privacy at minor cost.


Differentially Private Variational Dropout

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Deep neural networks with their large number of parameters are highly flexible learning systems. The high flexibility in such networks brings with some serious problems such as overfitting, and regularization is used to address this problem. A currently popular and effective regularization technique for controlling the overfitting is dropout. Often, large data collections required for neural networks contain sensitive information such as the medical histories of patients, and the privacy of the training data should be protected. In this paper, we modify the recently proposed variational dropout technique which provided an elegant Bayesian interpretation to dropout, and show that the intrinsic noise in the variational dropout can be exploited to obtain a degree of differential privacy. The iterative nature of training neural networks presents a challenge for privacy-preserving estimation since multiple iterations increase the amount of noise added. We overcome this by using a relaxed notion of differential privacy, called concentrated differential privacy, which provides tighter estimates on the overall privacy loss. We demonstrate the accuracy of our privacy-preserving variational dropout algorithm on benchmark datasets.


Differentially Private Dropout

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Large data collections required for the training of neural networks often contain sensitive information such as the medical histories of patients, and the privacy of the training data must be preserved. In this paper, we introduce a dropout technique that provides an elegant Bayesian interpretation to dropout, and show that the intrinsic noise added, with the primary goal of regularization, can be exploited to obtain a degree of differential privacy. The iterative nature of training neural networks presents a challenge for privacy-preserving estimation since multiple iterations increase the amount of noise added. We overcome this by using a relaxed notion of differential privacy, called concentrated differential privacy, which provides tighter estimates on the overall privacy loss. We demonstrate the accuracy of our privacy-preserving dropout algorithm on benchmark datasets.


Variational Bayes In Private Settings (VIPS)

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Many applications of Bayesian data analysis involve sensitive information, motivating methods which ensure that privacy is protected. We introduce a general privacy-preserving framework for Variational Bayes (VB), a widely used optimization-based Bayesian inference method. Our framework respects differential privacy, the gold-standard privacy criterion, and encompasses a large class of probabilistic models, called the Conjugate Exponential (CE) family. We observe that we can straightforwardly privatise VB's approximate posterior distributions for models in the CE family, by perturbing the expected sufficient statistics of the complete-data likelihood. For a broadly-used class of non-CE models, those with binomial likelihoods, we show how to bring such models into the CE family, such that inferences in the modified model resemble the private variational Bayes algorithm as closely as possible, using the Polya-Gamma data augmentation scheme. The iterative nature of variational Bayes presents a further challenge since iterations increase the amount of noise needed. We overcome this by combining: (1) an improved composition method for differential privacy, called the moments accountant, which provides a tight bound on the privacy cost of multiple VB iterations and thus significantly decreases the amount of additive noise; and (2) the privacy amplification effect of subsampling mini-batches from large-scale data in stochastic learning. We empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of our method in CE and non-CE models including latent Dirichlet allocation, Bayesian logistic regression, and sigmoid belief networks, evaluated on real-world datasets.


Variational Bayes In Private Settings (VIPS)

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Many applications of Bayesian data analysis involve sensitive information such as personal documents or medical records, motivating methods which ensure that privacy is protected. We introduce a general privacy-preserving framework for Variational Bayes (VB), a widely used optimization-based Bayesian inference method. Our framework respects differential privacy, the gold-standard privacy criterion, and encompasses a large class of probabilistic models, called the Conjugate Exponential (CE) family. We observe that we can straightforwardly privatise VB's approximate posterior distributions for models in the CE family, by perturbing the expected sufficient statistics of the complete-data likelihood. For a broadly-used class of non-CE models, those with binomial likelihoods, we show how to bring such models into the CE family, such that inferences in the modified model resemble the private variational Bayes algorithm as closely as possible, using the Pólya-Gamma data augmentation scheme. The iterative nature of variational Bayes presents a further challenge since iterations increase the amount of noise needed. We overcome this by combining: (1) an improved composition method for differential privacy, called the moments accountant, which provides a tight bound on the privacy cost of multiple VB iterations and thus significantly decreases the amount of additive noise; and (2) the privacy amplification effect of subsampling mini-batches from large-scale data in stochastic learning. We empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of our method in CE and non-CE models including latent Dirichlet allocation, Bayesian logistic regression, and sigmoid belief networks, evaluated on real-world datasets.