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

Abstract:Expander decompositions of graphs have significantly advanced the understanding of many classical graph problems and led to numerous fundamental theoretical results. However, their adoption in practice has been hindered due to their inherent intricacies and large hidden factors in their asymptotic running times. Here, we introduce the first practically efficient algorithm for computing expander decompositions and their hierarchies and demonstrate its effectiveness and utility by incorporating it as the core component in a novel solver for the normalized cut graph clustering objective. Our extensive experiments on a variety of large graphs show that our expander-based algorithm outperforms state-of-the-art solvers for normalized cut with respect to solution quality by a large margin on a variety of graph classes such as citation, e-mail, and social networks or web graphs while remaining competitive in running time.

Via

Abstract:As a staple of data analysis and unsupervised learning, the problem of private clustering has been widely studied under various privacy models. Centralized differential privacy is the first of them, and the problem has also been studied for the local and the shuffle variation. In each case, the goal is to design an algorithm that computes privately a clustering, with the smallest possible error. The study of each variation gave rise to new algorithms: the landscape of private clustering algorithms is therefore quite intricate. In this paper, we show that a 20-year-old algorithm can be slightly modified to work for any of these models. This provides a unified picture: while matching almost all previously known results, it allows us to improve some of them and extend it to a new privacy model, the continual observation setting, where the input is changing over time and the algorithm must output a new solution at each time step.

Via

Authors:Kyriakos Axiotis, Vincent Cohen-Addad, Monika Henzinger, Sammy Jerome, Vahab Mirrokni, David Saulpic, David Woodruff, Michael Wunder

Abstract:We study the data selection problem, whose aim is to select a small representative subset of data that can be used to efficiently train a machine learning model. We present a new data selection approach based on $k$-means clustering and sensitivity sampling. Assuming access to an embedding representation of the data with respect to which the model loss is H\"older continuous, our approach provably allows selecting a set of ``typical'' $k + 1/\varepsilon^2$ elements whose average loss corresponds to the average loss of the whole dataset, up to a multiplicative $(1\pm\varepsilon)$ factor and an additive $\varepsilon \lambda \Phi_k$, where $\Phi_k$ represents the $k$-means cost for the input embeddings and $\lambda$ is the H\"older constant. We furthermore demonstrate the performance and scalability of our approach on fine-tuning foundation models and show that it outperforms state-of-the-art methods. We also show how it can be applied on linear regression, leading to a new sampling strategy that surprisingly matches the performances of leverage score sampling, while being conceptually simpler and more scalable.

Via

Abstract:Clustering is a fundamental problem in unsupervised machine learning with many applications in data analysis. Popular clustering algorithms such as Lloyd's algorithm and $k$-means++ can take $\Omega(ndk)$ time when clustering $n$ points in a $d$-dimensional space (represented by an $n\times d$ matrix $X$) into $k$ clusters. In applications with moderate to large $k$, the multiplicative $k$ factor can become very expensive. We introduce a simple randomized clustering algorithm that provably runs in expected time $O(\mathrm{nnz}(X) + n\log n)$ for arbitrary $k$. Here $\mathrm{nnz}(X)$ is the total number of non-zero entries in the input dataset $X$, which is upper bounded by $nd$ and can be significantly smaller for sparse datasets. We prove that our algorithm achieves approximation ratio $\smash{\widetilde{O}(k^4)}$ on any input dataset for the $k$-means objective. We also believe that our theoretical analysis is of independent interest, as we show that the approximation ratio of a $k$-means algorithm is approximately preserved under a class of projections and that $k$-means++ seeding can be implemented in expected $O(n \log n)$ time in one dimension. Finally, we show experimentally that our clustering algorithm gives a new tradeoff between running time and cluster quality compared to previous state-of-the-art methods for these tasks.

Via

Abstract:We consider the problem of clustering privately a dataset in $\mathbb{R}^d$ that undergoes both insertion and deletion of points. Specifically, we give an $\varepsilon$-differentially private clustering mechanism for the $k$-means objective under continual observation. This is the first approximation algorithm for that problem with an additive error that depends only logarithmically in the number $T$ of updates. The multiplicative error is almost the same as non privately. To do so we show how to perform dimension reduction under continual observation and combine it with a differentially private greedy approximation algorithm for $k$-means. We also partially extend our results to the $k$-median problem.

Via

Abstract:We study the problem of maintaining a differentially private decaying sum under continual observation. We give a unifying framework and an efficient algorithm for this problem for \emph{any sufficiently smooth} function. Our algorithm is the first differentially private algorithm that does not have a multiplicative error for polynomially-decaying weights. Our algorithm improves on all prior works on differentially private decaying sums under continual observation and recovers exactly the additive error for the special case of continual counting from Henzinger et al. (SODA 2023) as a corollary. Our algorithm is a variant of the factorization mechanism whose error depends on the $\gamma_2$ and $\gamma_F$ norm of the underlying matrix. We give a constructive proof for an almost exact upper bound on the $\gamma_2$ and $\gamma_F$ norm and an almost tight lower bound on the $\gamma_2$ norm for a large class of lower-triangular matrices. This is the first non-trivial lower bound for lower-triangular matrices whose non-zero entries are not all the same. It includes matrices for all continual decaying sums problems, resulting in an upper bound on the additive error of any differentially private decaying sums algorithm under continual observation. We also explore some implications of our result in discrepancy theory and operator algebra. Given the importance of the $\gamma_2$ norm in computer science and the extensive work in mathematics, we believe our result will have further applications.

Via

Abstract:The first large-scale deployment of private federated learning uses differentially private counting in the continual release model as a subroutine (Google AI blog titled "Federated Learning with Formal Differential Privacy Guarantees"). In this case, a concrete bound on the error is very relevant to reduce the privacy parameter. The standard mechanism for continual counting is the binary mechanism. We present a novel mechanism and show that its mean squared error is both asymptotically optimal and a factor 10 smaller than the error of the binary mechanism. We also show that the constants in our analysis are almost tight by giving non-asymptotic lower and upper bounds that differ only in the constants of lower-order terms. Our algorithm is a matrix mechanism for the counting matrix and takes constant time per release. We also use our explicit factorization of the counting matrix to give an upper bound on the excess risk of the private learning algorithm of Denisov et al. (NeurIPS 2022). Our lower bound for any continual counting mechanism is the first tight lower bound on continual counting under approximate differential privacy. It is achieved using a new lower bound on a certain factorization norm, denoted by $\gamma_F(\cdot)$, in terms of the singular values of the matrix. In particular, we show that for any complex matrix, $A \in \mathbb{C}^{m \times n}$, \[ \gamma_F(A) \geq \frac{1}{\sqrt{m}}\|A\|_1, \] where $\|\cdot \|$ denotes the Schatten-1 norm. We believe this technique will be useful in proving lower bounds for a larger class of linear queries. To illustrate the power of this technique, we show the first lower bound on the mean squared error for answering parity queries.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:We study fine-grained error bounds for differentially private algorithms for averaging and counting under continual observation. Our main insight is that the factorization mechanism when using lower-triangular matrices, can be used in the continual observation model. We give explicit factorizations for two fundamental matrices, namely the counting matrix $M_{\mathsf{count}}$ and the averaging matrix $M_{\mathsf{average}}$ and show fine-grained bounds for the additive error of the resulting mechanism using the {\em completely bounded norm} (cb-norm) or {\em factorization norm}. Our bound on the cb-norm for $M_{\mathsf{count}}$ is tight up an additive error of 1 and the bound for $M_{\mathsf{average}}$ is tight up to $\approx 0.64$. This allows us to give the first algorithm for averaging whose additive error has $o(\log^{3/2} T)$ dependence. Furthermore, we are the first to give concrete error bounds for various problems under continual observation such as binary counting, maintaining a histogram, releasing an approximately cut-preserving synthetic graph, many graph-based statistics, and substring and episode counting. Finally, we present a fine-grained error bound for non-interactive local learning.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:Diffusions and related random walk procedures are of central importance in many areas of machine learning, data analysis, and applied mathematics. Because they spread mass agnostically at each step in an iterative manner, they can sometimes spread mass "too aggressively," thereby failing to find the "right" clusters. We introduce a novel Capacity Releasing Diffusion (CRD) Process, which is both faster and stays more local than the classical spectral diffusion process. As an application, we use our CRD Process to develop an improved local algorithm for graph clustering. Our local graph clustering method can find local clusters in a model of clustering where one begins the CRD Process in a cluster whose vertices are connected better internally than externally by an $O(\log^2 n)$ factor, where $n$ is the number of nodes in the cluster. Thus, our CRD Process is the first local graph clustering algorithm that is not subject to the well-known quadratic Cheeger barrier. Our result requires a certain smoothness condition, which we expect to be an artifact of our analysis. Our empirical evaluation demonstrates improved results, in particular for realistic social graphs where there are moderately good---but not very good---clusters.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:We consider planning problems for graphs, Markov decision processes (MDPs), and games on graphs. While graphs represent the most basic planning model, MDPs represent interaction with nature and games on graphs represent interaction with an adversarial environment. We consider two planning problems where there are k different target sets, and the problems are as follows: (a) the coverage problem asks whether there is a plan for each individual target set, and (b) the sequential target reachability problem asks whether the targets can be reached in sequence. For the coverage problem, we present a linear-time algorithm for graphs and quadratic conditional lower bound for MDPs and games on graphs. For the sequential target problem, we present a linear-time algorithm for graphs, a sub-quadratic algorithm for MDPs, and a quadratic conditional lower bound for games on graphs. Our results with conditional lower bounds establish (i) model-separation results showing that for the coverage problem MDPs and games on graphs are harder than graphs and for the sequential reachability problem games on graphs are harder than MDPs and graphs; (ii) objective-separation results showing that for MDPs the coverage problem is harder than the sequential target problem.

Via