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Abstract:In many real-world applications, in particular due to recent developments in the privacy landscape, training data may be aggregated to preserve the privacy of sensitive training labels. In the learning from label proportions (LLP) framework, the dataset is partitioned into bags of feature-vectors which are available only with the sum of the labels per bag. A further restriction, which we call learning from bag aggregates (LBA) is where instead of individual feature-vectors, only the (possibly weighted) sum of the feature-vectors per bag is available. We study whether such aggregation techniques can provide privacy guarantees under the notion of label differential privacy (label-DP) previously studied in for e.g. [Chaudhuri-Hsu'11, Ghazi et al.'21, Esfandiari et al.'22]. It is easily seen that naive LBA and LLP do not provide label-DP. Our main result however, shows that weighted LBA using iid Gaussian weights with $m$ randomly sampled disjoint $k$-sized bags is in fact $(\varepsilon, \delta)$-label-DP for any $\varepsilon > 0$ with $\delta \approx \exp(-\Omega(\sqrt{k}))$ assuming a lower bound on the linear-mse regression loss. Further, this preserves the optimum over linear mse-regressors of bounded norm to within $(1 \pm o(1))$-factor w.p. $\approx 1 - \exp(-\Omega(m))$. We emphasize that no additive label noise is required. The analogous weighted-LLP does not however admit label-DP. Nevertheless, we show that if additive $N(0, 1)$ noise can be added to any constant fraction of the instance labels, then the noisy weighted-LLP admits similar label-DP guarantees without assumptions on the dataset, while preserving the utility of Lipschitz-bounded neural mse-regression tasks. Our work is the first to demonstrate that label-DP can be achieved by randomly weighted aggregation for regression tasks, using no or little additive noise.

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Authors:Shreyas Havaldar, Navodita Sharma, Shubhi Sareen, Karthikeyan Shanmugam, Aravindan Raghuveer

Abstract:Learning from Label Proportions (LLP) is a learning problem where only aggregate level labels are available for groups of instances, called bags, during training, and the aim is to get the best performance at the instance-level on the test data. This setting arises in domains like advertising and medicine due to privacy considerations. We propose a novel algorithmic framework for this problem that iteratively performs two main steps. For the first step (Pseudo Labeling) in every iteration, we define a Gibbs distribution over binary instance labels that incorporates a) covariate information through the constraint that instances with similar covariates should have similar labels and b) the bag level aggregated label. We then use Belief Propagation (BP) to marginalize the Gibbs distribution to obtain pseudo labels. In the second step (Embedding Refinement), we use the pseudo labels to provide supervision for a learner that yields a better embedding. Further, we iterate on the two steps again by using the second step's embeddings as new covariates for the next iteration. In the final iteration, a classifier is trained using the pseudo labels. Our algorithm displays strong gains against several SOTA baselines (up to 15%) for the LLP Binary Classification problem on various dataset types - tabular and Image. We achieve these improvements with minimal computational overhead above standard supervised learning due to Belief Propagation, for large bag sizes, even for a million samples.

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Abstract:Covariate shift in the test data can significantly downgrade both the accuracy and the fairness performance of the model. Ensuring fairness across different sensitive groups in such settings is of paramount importance due to societal implications like criminal justice. We operate under the unsupervised regime where only a small set of unlabeled test samples along with a labeled training set is available. Towards this problem, we make three contributions. First is a novel composite weighted entropy based objective for prediction accuracy which is optimized along with a representation matching loss for fairness. We experimentally verify that optimizing with our loss formulation outperforms a number of state-of-the-art baselines in the pareto sense with respect to the fairness-accuracy tradeoff on several standard datasets. Our second contribution is a new setting we term Asymmetric Covariate Shift that, to the best of our knowledge, has not been studied before. Asymmetric covariate shift occurs when distribution of covariates of one group shifts significantly compared to the other groups and this happens when a dominant group is over-represented. While this setting is extremely challenging for current baselines, We show that our proposed method significantly outperforms them. Our third contribution is theoretical, where we show that our weighted entropy term along with prediction loss on the training set approximates test loss under covariate shift. Empirically and through formal sample complexity bounds, we show that this approximation to the unseen test loss does not depend on importance sampling variance which affects many other baselines.

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