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  1. Secure aggregation, which is a core component of federated learning, aggregates locally trained models from distributed users at a central server, without revealing any other information about the local users' data. This paper follows a recent information theoretic secure aggregation problem with user dropouts, where the objective is to characterize the minimum communication cost from the K users to the server during the model aggregation. All existing secure aggregation protocols let the users share and store coded keys to guarantee security. On the motivation that uncoded groupwise keys are more convenient to be shared and could be used in large range of practical applications, this paper is the first to consider uncoded groupwise keys, where the keys are mutually independent and each key is shared by a group of S users. We show that if S is beyond a threshold, a new secure aggregation protocol with uncoded groupwise keys, referred to as GroupSecAgg, can achieve the same optimal communication cost as the best protocol with coded keys. The experiments on Amazon EC2 show the considerable improvements on the key sharing and model aggregation times compared to the state-of-the art. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 28, 2024
  2. We consider the storage–retrieval rate trade-off in private information retrieval (PIR) systems using a Shannon-theoretic approach. Our focus is mostly on the canonical two-message two-database case, for which a coding scheme based on random codebook generation and the binning technique is proposed. This coding scheme reveals a hidden connection between PIR and the classic multiple description source coding problem. We first show that when the retrieval rate is kept optimal, the proposed non-linear scheme can achieve better performance over any linear scheme. Moreover, a non-trivial storage-retrieval rate trade-off can be achieved beyond space-sharing between this extreme point and the other optimal extreme point, achieved by the retrieve-everything strategy. We further show that with a method akin to the expurgation technique, one can extract a zero-error PIR code from the random code. Outer bounds are also studied and compared to establish the superiority of the non-linear codes over linear codes. 
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  3. We consider the cache-aided multiuser private information retrieval (MuPIR) problem with a focus on the special case of two messages, two users and arbitrary number of databases where the users have distinct demands of the messages. We characterize the optimal memory-load trade-off for the considered MuPIR problem by proposing a novel achievable scheme and a tight converse. The proposed achievable scheme uses the idea of cache-aided interference alignment (CIA) developed in the literature by the same authors. The proposed converse uses a tree-like decoding structure to incorporate both the decodability and privacy requirements of the users. While the optimal characterization of the cache-aided MuPIR problem is challenging in general, this work provides insight into understanding the general structure of the cache-aided MuPIR problem. 
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