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Fast Distributed Submodular Cover: Public-Private Data Summarization

Baharan Mirzasoleiman · Morteza Zadimoghaddam · Amin Karbasi

Area 5+6+7+8 #141

Keywords: [ (Application) Information Retrieval ] [ Large Scale Learning and Big Data ] [ Combinatorial Optimization ]


In this paper, we introduce the public-private framework of data summarization motivated by privacy concerns in personalized recommender systems and online social services. Such systems have usually access to massive data generated by a large pool of users. A major fraction of the data is public and is visible to (and can be used for) all users. However, each user can also contribute some private data that should not be shared with other users to ensure her privacy. The goal is to provide a succinct summary of massive dataset, ideally as small as possible, from which customized summaries can be built for each user, i.e. it can contain elements from the public data (for diversity) and users' private data (for personalization). To formalize the above challenge, we assume that the scoring function according to which a user evaluates the utility of her summary satisfies submodularity, a widely used notion in data summarization applications. Thus, we model the data summarization targeted to each user as an instance of a submodular cover problem. However, when the data is massive it is infeasible to use the centralized greedy algorithm to find a customized summary even for a single user. Moreover, for a large pool of users, it is too time consuming to find such summaries separately. Instead, we develop a fast distributed algorithm for submodular cover, FASTCOVER, that provides a succinct summary in one shot and for all users. We show that the solution provided by FASTCOVER is competitive with that of the centralized algorithm with the number of rounds that is exponentially smaller than state of the art results. Moreover, we have implemented FASTCOVER with Spark to demonstrate its practical performance on a number of concrete applications, including personalized location recommendation, personalized movie recommendation, and dominating set on tens of millions of data points and varying number of users.

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