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Privacy Amplification by Sampling for the Matrix Mechanism.

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Privacy amplification exploits randomness in data selection to provide tighter differential privacy (DP) guarantees. This analysis is key to DP-SGD's success in machine learning, but, is not readily applicable to the newer state-of-the-art algorithms. This is because these algorithms, known as DP-FTRL, use the matrix mechanism to add correlated noise instead of independent noise as in DP-SGD. In this paper, we propose "MMCC", the first algorithm to analyze privacy amplification via sampling for any generic matrix mechanism. MMCC is nearly tight in that it approaches a lower bound as ϵ→0. To analyze correlated outputs in MMCC, we prove that they can be analyzed as if they were independent, by conditioning them on prior outputs. Our "conditional composition theorem" has broad utility: we use it to show that the noise added to binary-tree-DP-FTRL can asymptotically match the noise added to DP-SGD with amplification. Our amplification algorithm also has practical empirical utility: we show it leads to significant improvement in the privacy-utility trade-offs for DP-FTRL algorithms on standard benchmarks.


Christopher A. Choquette-Choo, Arun Ganesh, Thomas Steinke, Abhradeep Thakurta


ICLR 2024