Compressive learning with privacy guarantees

Information and Inference: A Journal of the IMA

Abstract: This work addresses the problem of learning from large collections of data with privacy guarantees. The compressive learning framework proposes to deal with the large scale of datasets by compressing them into a single vector of generalized random moments, called a sketch vector, from which the learning task is then performed. We provide sharp bounds on the so-called sensitivity of this sketching mechanism. This allows us to leverage standard techniques to ensure differential privacy—a well-established formalism for defining and quantifying the privacy of a random mechanism—by adding Laplace of Gaussian noise to the sketch. We combine these standard mechanisms with a new feature subsampling mechanism, which reduces the computational cost without damaging privacy. The overall framework is applied to the tasks of Gaussian modeling, k-means clustering and principal component analysis, for which sharp privacy bounds are derived. Empirically, the quality (for subsequent learning) of the compressed representation produced by our mechanism is strongly related with the induced noise level, for which we give analytical expressions.