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Private Federated Learning Without a Trusted Server: Optimal Algorithms for Convex Losses
Andrew Lowy · Meisam Razaviyayn

This paper studies the problem of federated learning (FL) in the absence of a trustworthy server/clients. In this setting, each client needs to ensure the privacy of its own data without relying on the server or other clients. We study local differential privacy (LDP) and provide tight upper and lower bounds that establish the minimax optimal rates (up to logarithms) for LDP convex/strongly convex federated stochastic optimization. Our rates match the optimal statistical rates in certain practical parameter regimes ("privacy for free"). Second, we develop a novel time-varying noisy SGD algorithm, leading to the first non-trivial LDP risk bounds for FL with non-i.i.d. clients. Third, we consider the special case where each client's loss function is empirical and develop an accelerated LDP FL algorithm to improve communication complexity compared to existing works. We also provide matching lower bounds, establishing the optimality of our algorithm for convex/strongly convex settings. Fourth, with a secure shuffler to anonymize client reports (but without a trusted server), our algorithm attains the optimal central DP rates for stochastic convex/strongly convex optimization, thereby achieving optimality in the local and central models simultaneously. Our upper bounds quantify the role of network communication reliability in performance. Finally, we validate our theoretical results and illustrate the practical utility of our algorithm with numerical experiments.

Author Information

Andrew Lowy (USC)
Meisam Razaviyayn (University of Southern California)

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