Edwige Cyffers

Phd Student in Privacy Preserving Machine Learning

Decentralized optimization is increasingly popular in machine learning for its scalability and efficiency. Intuitively, it should also provide better privacy guarantees, as nodes only observe the messages sent by their neighbors in the network graph. But formalizing and quantifying this gain is challenging: existing results are typically limited to Local Differential Privacy (LDP) guarantees that overlook the advantages of decentralization. In this work, we introduce pairwise network differential privacy, a relaxation of LDP that captures the fact that the privacy leakage from a node u to a node v may depend on their relative position in the graph. We then analyze the combination of local noise injection with (simple or randomized) gossip averaging protocols on fixed and random communication graphs. We also derive a differentially private decentralized optimization algorithm that alternates between local gradient descent steps and gossip averaging. Our results show that our algorithms amplify privacy guarantees as a function of the distance between nodes in the graph, matching the privacy-utility trade-off of the trusted curator, up to factors that explicitly depend on the graph topology. Finally, we illustrate our privacy gains with experiments on synthetic and real-world datasets.

You can find the current version on arxiv. Code, poster, presentation and final version will be released soon.

Privacy Amplification by Decentralization

Paper published at AISTATS 2022

Analyzing data owned by several parties while achieving a good trade-off between utility and privacy is a key challenge in federated learning and analytics. In this work, we introduce a novel relaxation of local differential privacy (LDP) that naturally arises in fully decentralized algorithms, i.e., when participants exchange information by communicating along the edges of a network graph without central coordinator. This relaxation, that we call network DP, captures the fact that users have only a local view of the system. To show the relevance of network DP, we study a decentralized model of computation where a token performs a walk on the network graph and is updated sequentially by the party who receives it. For tasks such as real summation, histogram computation and optimization with gradient descent, we propose simple algorithms on ring and complete topologies. We prove that the privacy-utility trade-offs of our algorithms under network DP significantly improve upon what is achievable under LDP, and often match the utility of the trusted curator model. Our results show for the first time that formal privacy gains can be obtained from full decentralization. We also provide experiments to illustrate the improved utility of our approach for decentralized training with stochastic gradient descent.

Here is the paper, or in Aistats Proceedings.

Here is the code.

Here a video of presentation.

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