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Differentially Private Image Classification by Learning Priors from Random Processes

Xinyu Tang · Ashwinee Panda · Vikash Sehwag · Prateek Mittal

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #1612
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Tue 12 Dec 8:45 a.m. PST — 10:45 a.m. PST

Abstract: In privacy-preserving machine learning, differentially private stochastic gradient descent (DP-SGD) performs worse than SGD due to per-sample gradient clipping and noise addition.A recent focus in private learning research is improving the performance of DP-SGD on private data by incorporating priors that are learned on real-world public data.In this work, we explore how we can improve the privacy-utility tradeoff of DP-SGD by learning priors from images generated by random processes and transferring these priors to private data. We propose DP-RandP, a three-phase approach. We attain new state-of-the-art accuracy when training from scratch on CIFAR10, CIFAR100, MedMNIST and ImageNet for a range of privacy budgets $\\varepsilon \\in [1, 8]$. In particular, we improve the previous best reported accuracy on CIFAR10 from $60.6 \\%$ to $72.3 \\%$ for $\\varepsilon=1$.

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