DP-PCA: Statistically Optimal and Differentially Private PCADownload PDF

Published: 31 Oct 2022, Last Modified: 11 Jan 2023NeurIPS 2022 AcceptReaders: Everyone
Keywords: differential privacy, principal component analysis, private estimation
TL;DR: We give the first statistically optimal PCA algorithm under approximate differential privacy, which is also computationally efficient.
Abstract: We study the canonical statistical task of computing the principal component from i.i.d.~data under differential privacy. Although extensively studied in literature, existing solutions fall short on two key aspects: ($i$) even for Gaussian data, existing private algorithms require the number of samples $n$ to scale super-linearly with $d$, i.e., $n=\Omega(d^{3/2})$, to obtain non-trivial results while non-private PCA requires only $n=O(d)$, and ($ii$) existing techniques suffer from a large error even when the variance in each data point is small. We propose DP-PCA method that uses a single-pass minibatch gradient descent style algorithm to overcome the above limitations. For sub-Gaussian data, we provide nearly optimal statistical error rates even for $n=O(d \log d)$.
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