Get our free extension to see links to code for papers anywhere online!Free extension: code links for papers anywhere!Free add-on: See code for papers anywhere!

Taegyu Kang, Sehwan Kim, Jinwon Sohn, Jordan Awan

This paper is the first to attempt differentially private (DP) topological data analysis (TDA), producing near-optimal private persistence diagrams. We analyze the sensitivity of persistence diagrams in terms of the bottleneck distance, and we show that the commonly used \v{C}ech complex has sensitivity that does not decrease as the sample size $n$ increases. This makes it challenging for the persistence diagrams of \v{C}ech complexes to be privatized. As an alternative, we show that the persistence diagram obtained by the $L^1$-distance to measure (DTM) has sensitivity $O(1/n)$. Based on the sensitivity analysis, we propose using the exponential mechanism whose utility function is defined in terms of the bottleneck distance of the $L^1$-DTM persistence diagrams. We also derive upper and lower bounds of the accuracy of our privacy mechanism; the obtained bounds indicate that the privacy error of our mechanism is near-optimal. We demonstrate the performance of our privatized persistence diagrams through simulations as well as on a real dataset tracking human movement.

Via

Zhanyu Wang, Guang Cheng, Jordan Awan

Differential private (DP) mechanisms protect individual-level information by introducing randomness into the statistical analysis procedure. While there are now many DP tools for various statistical problems, there is still a lack of general techniques to understand the sampling distribution of a DP estimator, which is crucial for uncertainty quantification in statistical inference. We analyze a DP bootstrap procedure that releases multiple private bootstrap estimates to infer the sampling distribution and construct confidence intervals. Our privacy analysis includes new results on the privacy cost of a single DP bootstrap estimate applicable to incorporate arbitrary DP mechanisms and identifies some misuses of the bootstrap in the existing literature. We show that the release of $B$ DP bootstrap estimates from mechanisms satisfying $(\mu/\sqrt{(2-2/\mathrm{e})B})$-Gaussian DP asymptotically satisfies $\mu$-Gaussian DP as $B$ goes to infinity. We also develop a statistical procedure based on the DP bootstrap estimates to correctly infer the sampling distribution using techniques related to the deconvolution of probability measures, an approach which is novel in analyzing DP procedures. From our density estimate, we construct confidence intervals and compare them to existing methods through simulations and real-world experiments using the 2016 Canada Census Public Use Microdata. The coverage of our private confidence intervals achieves the nominal confidence level, while other methods fail to meet this guarantee.

Via

Matthew Reimherr, Jordan Awan

This paper presents a new mechanism for producing sanitized statistical summaries that achieve \emph{differential privacy}, called the \emph{K-Norm Gradient} Mechanism, or KNG. This new approach maintains the strong flexibility of the exponential mechanism, while achieving the powerful utility performance of objective perturbation. KNG starts with an inherent objective function (often an empirical risk), and promotes summaries that are close to minimizing the objective by weighting according to how far the gradient of the objective function is from zero. Working with the gradient instead of the original objective function allows for additional flexibility as one can penalize using different norms. We show that, unlike the exponential mechanism, the noise added by KNG is asymptotically negligible compared to the statistical error for many problems. In addition to theoretical guarantees on privacy and utility, we confirm the utility of KNG empirically in the settings of linear and quantile regression through simulations.

Via

Jordan Awan, Ana Kenney, Matthew Reimherr, Aleksandra Slavković

The exponential mechanism is a fundamental tool of Differential Privacy (DP) due to its strong privacy guarantees and flexibility. We study its extension to settings with summaries based on infinite dimensional outputs such as with functional data analysis, shape analysis, and nonparametric statistics. We show that one can design the mechanism with respect to a specific base measure over the output space, such as a Guassian process. We provide a positive result that establishes a Central Limit Theorem for the exponential mechanism quite broadly. We also provide an apparent negative result, showing that the magnitude of the noise introduced for privacy is asymptotically non-negligible relative to the statistical estimation error. We develop an \ep-DP mechanism for functional principal component analysis, applicable in separable Hilbert spaces. We demonstrate its performance via simulations and applications to two datasets.

Via