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Abstract: We study the problem of unlearning datapoints from a learnt model. The learner first receives a dataset $S$ drawn i.i.d. from an unknown distribution, and outputs a model $\widehat{w}$ that performs well on unseen samples from the same distribution. However, at some point in the future, any training datapoint $z \in S$ can request to be unlearned, thus prompting the learner to modify its output model while still ensuring the same accuracy guarantees. We initiate a rigorous study of generalization in machine unlearning, where the goal is to perform well on previously unseen datapoints. Our focus is on both computational and storage complexity.
For the setting of convex losses, we provide an unlearning algorithm that can unlearn up to $O(n/d^{1/4})$ samples, where $d$ is the problem dimension. In comparison, in general, differentially private learning (which implies unlearning) only guarantees deletion of $O(n/d^{1/2})$ samples. This demonstrates a novel separation between differential privacy and machine unlearning.

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Abstract: Data deletion algorithms aim to remove the influence of deleted data points from trained models at a cheaper computational cost than fully retraining those models. However, for sequences of deletions, most prior work in the non-convex setting gives valid guarantees only for sequences that are chosen independently of the models that are published. If people choose to delete their data as a function of the published models (because they don't like what the models reveal about them, for example), then the update sequence is adaptive. In this paper, we give a general reduction from deletion guarantees against adaptive sequences to deletion guarantees against non-adaptive sequences, using differential privacy and its connection to max information. Combined with ideas from prior work which give guarantees for non-adaptive deletion sequences, this leads to extremely flexible algorithms able to handle arbitrary model classes and training methodologies, giving strong provable deletion guarantees for adaptive deletion sequences. We show in theory how prior work for non-convex models fails against adaptive deletion sequences, and use this intuition to design a practical attack against the SISA algorithm of Bourtoule et al. [2021] on CIFAR-10, MNIST, Fashion-MNIST.

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5Â Citations

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Abstract: Machine unlearning is the process through which a deployed machine learning model forgets about one of its training data points. While naively retraining the model from scratch is an option, it is almost always associated with a large computational effort for deep learning models. Thus, several approaches to approximately unlearn have been proposed along with corresponding metrics that formalize what it means for a model to forget about a data point. In this work, we first taxonomize approaches and metrics of approximate unlearning. As a result, we identify verification error, i.e., the L2 difference between the weights of an approximately unlearned and a naively retrained model, as a metric approximate unlearning should optimize for as it implies a large class of other metrics. We theoretically analyze the canonical stochastic gradient descent (SGD) training algorithm to surface the variables which are relevant to reducing the verification error of approximate unlearning for SGD. From this analysis, we first derive an easy-to-compute proxy for verification error (termed unlearning error). The analysis also informs the design of a new training objective penalty that limits the overall change in weights during SGD and as a result facilitates approximate unlearning with lower verification error. We validate our theoretical work through an empirical evaluation on CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, and IMDB sentiment analysis.

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Topics:Â Stochastic gradient descentÂ (53%)

1Â Citations

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Abstract: Machine unlearning, i.e. having a model forget about some of its training data, has become increasingly more important as privacy legislation promotes variants of the right-to-be-forgotten. In the context of deep learning, approaches for machine unlearning are broadly categorized into two classes: exact unlearning methods, where an entity has formally removed the data point's impact on the model by retraining the model from scratch, and approximate unlearning, where an entity approximates the model parameters one would obtain by exact unlearning to save on compute costs. In this paper we first show that the definition that underlies approximate unlearning, which seeks to prove the approximately unlearned model is close to an exactly retrained model, is incorrect because one can obtain the same model using different datasets. Thus one could unlearn without modifying the model at all. We then turn to exact unlearning approaches and ask how to verify their claims of unlearning. Our results show that even for a given training trajectory one cannot formally prove the absence of certain data points used during training. We thus conclude that unlearning is only well-defined at the algorithmic level, where an entity's only possible auditable claim to unlearning is that they used a particular algorithm designed to allow for external scrutiny during an audit.

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1Â Citations

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Abstract: The application of machine learning (ML) in computer systems introduces not only many benefits but also risks to society. In this paper, we develop the concept of ML governance to balance such benefits and risks, with the aim of achieving responsible applications of ML. Our approach first systematizes research towards ascertaining ownership of data and models, thus fostering a notion of identity specific to ML systems. Building on this foundation, we use identities to hold principals accountable for failures of ML systems through both attribution and auditing. To increase trust in ML systems, we then survey techniques for developing assurance, i.e., confidence that the system meets its security requirements and does not exhibit certain known failures. This leads us to highlight the need for techniques that allow a model owner to manage the life cycle of their system, e.g., to patch or retire their ML system. Put altogether, our systematization of knowledge standardizes the interactions between principals involved in the deployment of ML throughout its life cycle. We highlight opportunities for future work, e.g., to formalize the resulting game between ML principals.

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1Â Citations

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25 Oct 2021-

Abstract: Machine unlearning refers to mechanisms that can remove the influence of a subset of training data upon request from a trained model without incurring the cost of re-training from scratch. This paper develops a unified PAC-Bayesian framework for machine unlearning that recovers the two recent design principles - variational unlearning [1] and forgetting Lagrangian [2] as information risk minimization problems [3]. Accordingly, both criteria can be interpreted as PAC-Bayesian upper bounds on the test loss of the unlearned model that take the form of free energy metrics.

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1Â Citations

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32 results found

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01 Jan 1983-

Abstract: The technique of iterative weighted linear regression can be used to obtain maximum likelihood estimates of the parameters with observations distributed according to some exponential family and systematic effects that can be made linear by a suitable transformation. A generalization of the analysis of variance is given for these models using log- likelihoods. These generalized linear models are illustrated by examples relating to four distributions; the Normal, Binomial (probit analysis, etc.), Poisson (contingency tables) and gamma (variance components).

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Topics:Â Generalized linear modelÂ (67%), Generalized linear mixed modelÂ (66%), Quasi-likelihoodÂ (65%)Â ... read more

23,204Â Citations

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04 Mar 2006-

Abstract: We continue a line of research initiated in [10,11]on privacy-preserving statistical databases. Consider a trusted server that holds a database of sensitive information. Given a query function f mapping databases to reals, the so-called true answer is the result of applying f to the database. To protect privacy, the true answer is perturbed by the addition of random noise generated according to a carefully chosen distribution, and this response, the true answer plus noise, is returned to the user.
Previous work focused on the case of noisy sums, in which f = âˆ‘ig(xi), where xi denotes the ith row of the database and g maps database rows to [0,1]. We extend the study to general functions f, proving that privacy can be preserved by calibrating the standard deviation of the noise according to the sensitivity of the function f. Roughly speaking, this is the amount that any single argument to f can change its output. The new analysis shows that for several particular applications substantially less noise is needed than was previously understood to be the case.
The first step is a very clean characterization of privacy in terms of indistinguishability of transcripts. Additionally, we obtain separation results showing the increased value of interactive sanitization mechanisms over non-interactive.

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Topics:Â NoiseÂ (53%), Differential privacyÂ (52%), Information privacyÂ (52%)Â ... read more

4,537Â Citations

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11 Aug 2014-

Abstract: The problem of privacy-preserving data analysis has a long history spanning multiple disciplines. As electronic data about individuals becomes increasingly detailed, and as technology enables ever more powerful collection and curation of these data, the need increases for a robust, meaningful, and mathematically rigorous definition of privacy, together with a computationally rich class of algorithms that satisfy this definition. Differential Privacy is such a definition.After motivating and discussing the meaning of differential privacy, the preponderance of this monograph is devoted to fundamental techniques for achieving differential privacy, and application of these techniques in creative combinations, using the query-release problem as an ongoing example. A key point is that, by rethinking the computational goal, one can often obtain far better results than would be achieved by methodically replacing each step of a non-private computation with a differentially private implementation. Despite some astonishingly powerful computational results, there are still fundamental limitations â€” not just on what can be achieved with differential privacy but on what can be achieved with any method that protects against a complete breakdown in privacy. Virtually all the algorithms discussed herein maintain differential privacy against adversaries of arbitrary computational power. Certain algorithms are computationally intensive, others are efficient. Computational complexity for the adversary and the algorithm are both discussed.We then turn from fundamentals to applications other than queryrelease, discussing differentially private methods for mechanism design and machine learning. The vast majority of the literature on differentially private algorithms considers a single, static, database that is subject to many analyses. Differential privacy in other models, including distributed databases and computations on data streams is discussed.Finally, we note that this work is meant as a thorough introduction to the problems and techniques of differential privacy, but is not intended to be an exhaustive survey â€” there is by now a vast amount of work in differential privacy, and we can cover only a small portion of it.

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Topics:Â Privacy softwareÂ (64%), Differential privacyÂ (59%), Electronic dataÂ (52%)Â ... read more

3,541Â Citations

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01 Jan 2015-

Abstract: Machine learning is one of the fastest growing areas of computer science, with far-reaching applications. The aim of this textbook is to introduce machine learning, and the algorithmic paradigms it offers, in a principled way. The book provides an extensive theoretical account of the fundamental ideas underlying machine learning and the mathematical derivations that transform these principles into practical algorithms. Following a presentation of the basics of the field, the book covers a wide array of central topics that have not been addressed by previous textbooks. These include a discussion of the computational complexity of learning and the concepts of convexity and stability; important algorithmic paradigms including stochastic gradient descent, neural networks, and structured output learning; and emerging theoretical concepts such as the PAC-Bayes approach and compression-based bounds. Designed for an advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate course, the text makes the fundamentals and algorithms of machine learning accessible to students and non-expert readers in statistics, computer science, mathematics, and engineering.

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Topics:Â Algorithmic learning theoryÂ (70%), Computational learning theoryÂ (68%), Active learning (machine learning)Â (65%)Â ... read more

2,986Â Citations

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01 Jan 1983-

Abstract: (1984). Problem Complexity and Method Efficiency in Optimization. Journal of the Operational Research Society: Vol. 35, No. 5, pp. 455-455.

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Topics:Â Computational problemÂ (63%), Optimization problemÂ (62%), Quadratic assignment problemÂ (59%)Â ... read more

2,053Â Citations