Selective Pre-training for Private Fine-tuning

Published: 24 Jun 2024, Last Modified: 24 Jun 2024Accepted by TMLREveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Abstract: Text prediction models, when used in applications like email clients or word processors, must protect user data privacy and adhere to model size constraints. These constraints are crucial to meet memory and inference time requirements, as well as to reduce inference costs. Building small, fast, and private domain-specific language models is a thriving area of research. In this work, we show that a careful pre-training on a subset of the public dataset that is guided by the private dataset is crucial to train small language models with differential privacy. On standard benchmarks, small models trained with our new framework achieve state-of-the-art performance. In addition to performance improvements, our results demonstrate that smaller models, through careful pre-training and private fine-tuning, can match the performance of much larger models that do not have access to private data. This underscores the potential of private learning for model compression and enhanced efficiency.
Submission Length: Regular submission (no more than 12 pages of main content)
Supplementary Material: zip
Assigned Action Editor: ~Aurélien_Bellet1
Submission Number: 2278