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Farokhi, F..  2020.  Temporally Discounted Differential Privacy for Evolving Datasets on an Infinite Horizon. 2020 ACM/IEEE 11th International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems (ICCPS). :1–8.
We define discounted differential privacy, as an alternative to (conventional) differential privacy, to investigate privacy of evolving datasets, containing time series over an unbounded horizon. We use privacy loss as a measure of the amount of information leaked by the reports at a certain fixed time. We observe that privacy losses are weighted equally across time in the definition of differential privacy, and therefore the magnitude of privacy-preserving additive noise must grow without bound to ensure differential privacy over an infinite horizon. Motivated by the discounted utility theory within the economics literature, we use exponential and hyperbolic discounting of privacy losses across time to relax the definition of differential privacy under continual observations. This implies that privacy losses in distant past are less important than the current ones to an individual. We use discounted differential privacy to investigate privacy of evolving datasets using additive Laplace noise and show that the magnitude of the additive noise can remain bounded under discounted differential privacy. We illustrate the quality of privacy-preserving mechanisms satisfying discounted differential privacy on smart-meter measurement time-series of real households, made publicly available by Ausgrid (an Australian electricity distribution company).
Wu, N., Farokhi, F., Smith, D., Kaafar, M. A..  2020.  The Value of Collaboration in Convex Machine Learning with Differential Privacy. 2020 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP). :304–317.
In this paper, we apply machine learning to distributed private data owned by multiple data owners, entities with access to non-overlapping training datasets. We use noisy, differentially-private gradients to minimize the fitness cost of the machine learning model using stochastic gradient descent. We quantify the quality of the trained model, using the fitness cost, as a function of privacy budget and size of the distributed datasets to capture the trade-off between privacy and utility in machine learning. This way, we can predict the outcome of collaboration among privacy-aware data owners prior to executing potentially computationally-expensive machine learning algorithms. Particularly, we show that the difference between the fitness of the trained machine learning model using differentially-private gradient queries and the fitness of the trained machine model in the absence of any privacy concerns is inversely proportional to the size of the training datasets squared and the privacy budget squared. We successfully validate the performance prediction with the actual performance of the proposed privacy-aware learning algorithms, applied to: financial datasets for determining interest rates of loans using regression; and detecting credit card frauds using support vector machines.