skip to main content

Title: Federated Learning with Sparsification-Amplified Privacy and Adaptive Optimization

Federated learning (FL) enables distributed agents to collaboratively learn a centralized model without sharing their raw data with each other. However, data locality does not provide sufficient privacy protection, and it is desirable to facilitate FL with rigorous differential privacy (DP) guarantee. Existing DP mechanisms would introduce random noise with magnitude proportional to the model size, which can be quite large in deep neural networks. In this paper, we propose a new FL framework with sparsification-amplified privacy. Our approach integrates random sparsification with gradient perturbation on each agent to amplify privacy guarantee. Since sparsification would increase the number of communication rounds required to achieve a certain target accuracy, which is unfavorable for DP guarantee, we further introduce acceleration techniques to help reduce the privacy cost. We rigorously analyze the convergence of our approach and utilize Renyi DP to tightly account the end-to-end DP guarantee. Extensive experiments on benchmark datasets validate that our approach outperforms previous differentially-private FL approaches in both privacy guarantee and communication efficiency.

more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the Thirtieth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1463 to 1469
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Privacy and Byzantine resilience are two indispensable requirements for a federated learning (FL) system. Although there have been extensive studies on privacy and Byzantine security in their own track, solutions that consider both remain sparse. This is due to difficulties in reconciling privacy-preserving and Byzantine-resilient algorithms.

    In this work, we propose a solution to such a two-fold issue. We use our version of differentially private stochastic gradient descent (DP-SGD) algorithm to preserve privacy and then apply our Byzantine-resilient algorithms. We note that while existing works follow this general approach, an in-depth analysis on the interplay between DP and Byzantine resilience has been ignored, leading to unsatisfactory performance. Specifically, for the random noise introduced by DP, previous works strive to reduce its seemingly detrimental impact on the Byzantine aggregation. In contrast, we leverage the random noise to construct a first-stage aggregation that effectively rejects many existing Byzantine attacks. Moreover, based on another property of our DP variant, we form a second-stage aggregation which provides a final sound filtering. Our protocol follows the principle of co-designing both DP and Byzantine resilience.

    We provide both theoretical proof and empirical experiments to show our protocol is effective: retaining high accuracy while preserving the DP guarantee and Byzantine resilience. Compared with the previous work, our protocol 1) achieves significantly higher accuracy even in a high privacy regime; 2) works well even when up to 90% distributive workers are Byzantine. 

    more » « less
  2. Matrix factorization (MF) approximates unobserved ratings in a rating matrix, whose rows correspond to users and columns correspond to items to be rated, and has been serving as a fundamental building block in recommendation systems. This paper comprehensively studies the problem of matrix factorization in different federated learning (FL) settings, where a set of parties want to cooperate in training but refuse to share data directly. We first propose a generic algorithmic framework for various settings of federated matrix factorization (FMF) and provide a theoretical convergence guarantee. We then systematically characterize privacy-leakage risks in data collection, training, and publishing stages for three different settings and introduce privacy notions to provide end-to-end privacy protections. The first one is vertical federated learning (VFL), where multiple parties have the ratings from the same set of users but on disjoint sets of items. The second one is horizontal federated learning (HFL), where parties have ratings from different sets of users but on the same set of items. The third setting is local federated learning (LFL), where the ratings of the users are only stored on their local devices. We introduce adapted versions of FMF with the privacy notions guaranteed in the three settings. In particular, a new private learning technique called embedding clipping is introduced and used in all the three settings to ensure differential privacy. For the LFL setting, we combine differential privacy with secure aggregation to protect the communication between user devices and the server with a strength similar to the local differential privacy model, but much better accuracy. We perform experiments to demonstrate the effectiveness of our approaches. 
    more » « less
  3. null (Ed.)
    Edge Computing (EC) has seen a continuous rise in its popularity as it provides a solution to the latency and communication issues associated with edge devices transferring data to remote servers. EC achieves this by bringing the cloud closer to edge devices. Even though EC does an excellent job of solving the latency and communication issues, it does not solve the privacy issues associated with users transferring personal data to the nearby edge server. Federated Learning (FL) is an approach that was introduced to solve the privacy issues associated with data transfers to distant servers. FL attempts to resolve this issue by bringing the code to the data, which goes against the traditional way of sending the data to remote servers. In FL, the data stays on the source device, and a Machine Learning (ML) model used to train the local data is brought to the end device instead. End devices train the ML model using local data and then send the model updates back to the server for aggregation. However, this process of asking random devices to train a model using its local data has potential risks such as a participant poisoning the model using malicious data for training to produce bogus parameters. In this paper, an approach to mitigate data poisoning attacks in a federated learning setting is investigated. The application of the approach is highlighted, and the practical and secure nature of this approach is illustrated as well using numerical results. 
    more » « less
  4. Providing privacy protection has been one of the primary motivations of Federated Learning (FL). Recently, there has been a line of work on incorporating the formal privacy notion of differential privacy with FL. To guarantee the client-level differential privacy in FL algorithms, the clients’ transmitted model updates have to be clipped before adding privacy noise. Such clipping operation is substantially different from its counterpart of gradient clipping in the centralized differentially private SGD and has not been well-understood. In this paper, we first empirically demonstrate that the clipped FedAvg can perform surprisingly well even with substantial data heterogeneity when training neural networks, which is partly because the clients’ updates become similar for several popular deep architectures. Based on this key observation, we provide the convergence analysis of a differential private (DP) FedAvg algorithm and highlight the relationship between clipping bias and the distribution of the clients’ updates. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work that rigorously investigates theoretical and empirical issues regarding the clipping operation in FL algorithms. 
    more » « less
  5. Federated learning (FL) is an increasingly popular approach for machine learning (ML) in cases where the training dataset is highly distributed. Clients perform local training on their datasets and the updates are then aggregated into the global model. Existing protocols for aggregation are either inefficient, or don’t consider the case of malicious actors in the system. This is a major barrier in making FL an ideal solution for privacy-sensitive ML applications. We present ELSA, a secure aggregation protocol for FL, which breaks this barrier - it is efficient and addresses the existence of malicious actors at the core of its design. Similar to prior work on Prio and Prio+, ELSA provides a novel secure aggregation protocol built out of distributed trust across two servers that keeps individual client updates private as long as one server is honest, defends against malicious clients, and is efficient end-to-end. Compared to prior works, the distinguishing theme in ELSA is that instead of the servers generating cryptographic correlations interactively, the clients act as untrusted dealers of these correlations without compromising the protocol’s security. This leads to a much faster protocol while also achieving stronger security at that efficiency compared to prior work. We introduce new techniques that retain privacy even when a server is malicious at a small added cost of 7-25% in runtime with negligible increase in communication over the case of semi-honest server. Our work improves end-to-end runtime over prior work with similar security guarantees by big margins - single-aggregator RoFL by up to 305x (for the models we consider), and distributed trust Prio by up to 8x. 
    more » « less