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Training Private Models That Know What They Don’t Know

Stephan Rabanser · Anvith Thudi · Abhradeep Guha Thakurta · Krishnamurthy Dvijotham · Nicolas Papernot

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #1525
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[ Paper [ Slides [ Poster [ OpenReview
Wed 13 Dec 8:45 a.m. PST — 10:45 a.m. PST


Training reliable deep learning models which avoid making overconfident but incorrect predictions is a longstanding challenge. This challenge is further exacerbated when learning has to be differentially private: protection provided to sensitive data comes at the price of injecting additional randomness into the learning process. In this work, we conduct a thorough empirical investigation of selective classifiers---that can abstain under uncertainty---under a differential privacy constraint. We find that some popular selective prediction approaches are ineffective in a differentially private setting because they increase the risk of privacy leakage. At the same time, we identify that a recent approach that only uses checkpoints produced by an off-the-shelf private learning algorithm stands out as particularly suitable under DP. Further, we show that differential privacy does not just harm utility but also degrades selective classification performance. To analyze this effect across privacy levels, we propose a novel evaluation mechanism which isolates selective prediction performance across model utility levels at full coverage. Our experimental results show that recovering the performance level attainable by non-private models is possible but comes at a considerable coverage cost as the privacy budget decreases.

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