Differentially Private Machine Learning: Theory, Algorithms, and Applications

Kamalika Chaudhuri, Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering, UC San Diego
Anand D. Sarwate, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rutgers University

A tutorial given at the 2017 Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS)
December 4-9, 2017
Long Beach, CA, USA.


Differential privacy has emerged as one of the de-facto standards for measuring privacy risk when performing computations on sensitive data and disseminating the results. Algorithms that guarantee differential privacy are randomized, which causes a loss in performance, or utility. Managing the privacy-utility tradeoff becomes easier with more data. Many machine learning algorithms can be made differentially private through the judicious introduction of randomization, usually through noise, within the computation. In this tutorial we will describe the basic framework of differential privacy, key mechanisms for guaranteeing privacy, and how to find differentially private approximations to several contemporary machine learning tools: convex optimization, Bayesian methods, and deep learning.

Downloads and links

View the slides from the tutorial.
Video from the tutorial should be coming soon.
(Partial) list of references (.bib format).


Kamalika Chaudhuri received a Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science and Engineering in 2002 from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and a PhD in Computer Science from University of California at Berkeley in 2007. She held a postdoctoral researcher position at the Information Theory and Applications Center at UC San Diego from 2007-2009, and a postdoctoral researcher position in UC San Diego from 2007 to 2010. In July 2010, she joined the CSE department at UC San Diego as an assistant professor. She received an NSF CAREER Award in 2013 and a Hellman Faculty Fellowship in 2012. Kamalika's research interests are in the statistical foundations of machine learning. She is particularly interested in privacy-preserving machine learning, which addresses how to learn good models and predictors from sensitive data, while preserving the privacy of individuals.

Anand D. Sarwate is Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He has B.S. degrees in Mathematics and Electrical Science and Engineering from MIT (2002) and M.S. and Ph.D. regress from UC Berkeley (2005, 2008). Before joining Rutgers he was a postdoc at the ITA Center at UCSD a Research Assistant Professor at TTI-C. He received the NSF CAREER award in 2015. Anand's interests are in information theory, machine learning, and signal processing, with applications to distributed systems, privacy and security, and biomedical research.


The work of K. Chaudhuri was supported by the NSF under IIS-1253942, ONR under N00014-16-1-2616 and a Google Faculty Research Award. The work of A.D. Sarwate was supported by the NSF under CCF-1453432 and SaTC-1617849, the NIH under 1R01DA040487-01A1, and DARPA and US Navy under contract N66001-15-C-4070.


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