# Private Identity Testing for High-Dimensional Distributions

arXiv: Data Structures and Algorithms, 2019.

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Keywords:

discrete distributionhigh dimensionalprivate datum analysisproduct distributionidentity testingMore(10+)

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Abstract:

In this work we present novel differentially private identity (goodness-of-fit) testers for natural and widely studied classes of multivariate product distributions: Gaussians in $\mathbb{R}^d$ with known covariance and product distributions over $\{\pm 1\}^{d}$. Our testers have improved sample complexity compared to those derived from...More

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Introduction

- A foundation of statistical inference is hypothesis testing: given two disjoint sets of probability distributions H0 and H1, the authors want to design an algorithm T that takes a random sample X from some distribution P ∈ H0 ∪ H1 and, with high probability, determines whether P is in H0 or H1.
- There is an exponential-time, ε-differentially private tester A that distinguishes the uniform distribution over {±1}d from any product distribution over {±1}d that is α-far in total variation distance using n = n(d, α, ε) samples for n= O

Highlights

- A foundation of statistical inference is hypothesis testing: given two disjoint sets of probability distributions H0 and H1, we want to design an algorithm T that takes a random sample X from some distribution P ∈ H0 ∪ H1 and, with high probability, determines whether P is in H0 or H1
- There is a linear-time, ε-differentially private tester A that distinguishes the uniform distribution over {±1}d from any product distribution over {±1}d that is α-far in total variation distance using n = n(d, α, ε) samples for n= O
- One might even conjecture that this sample complexity is optimal by analogy with the case of privately estimating a product distribution over {±1}d or a Gaussian in Rd with known covariance, for which the sample complexity is Θ (d/α2 + d/αε) in both cases [KLSU19]
- A product distribution is extreme if each of its marginals is O(1/d)-close to constant. For this restricted class of Boolean product distributions, we provide a two-way reduction argument showing that identity testing is equivalent to the identity testing in the univariate setting
- For hypothesis tests with constant error probabilities, sample complexity bounds for differential privacy are equivalent, up to constant factors, to sample complexity bounds for other notions of distributional algorithmic stability, such as (ε, δ)-differentially private (DP) [DKM+06], concentrated DP [DR16, BS16], KL- and TV-stability [WLF16, BNS+16]

Results

- In view of the above, one way to find a better private tester would be to identify an alternative statistic for testing uniformity of product distributions with lower global sensitivity.
- This algorithm has two main components: a Lipschitz extension that allows them to control the amount of noise added to the test statistic, and an iterative step that rejects a successively larger class of distributions.
- If the following four conditions hold: (i) X is drawn from a product distribution, (ii) X satisfies (11), (iii) X ∈ C(∆), and (iv) LipschitzExtensionTest(X, ε, ∆, β) returns accept, X ∈ C(∆′) with probability at least 1 − β.
- 3. The number of rounds M is sufficient to guarantee that the sensitivity and the amount of noise added to T(X) in the last test in line 12 is small enough that one distinguishes between the two hypotheses with the desired sample complexity.
- The authors have, by Lemma 4.2 and Chebyshev’s inequality, and recalling that T(X) = T (X), the authors can bound the probability that Algorithm 2 rejects in line 12 as n(n − 1)α2 4
- For hypothesis tests with constant error probabilities, sample complexity bounds for differential privacy are equivalent, up to constant factors, to sample complexity bounds for other notions of distributional algorithmic stability, such as (ε, δ)-DP [DKM+06], concentrated DP [DR16, BS16], KL- and TV-stability [WLF16, BNS+16].
- Algorithm 3 is (4ε, 13δ)-differentially private and distinguishes between the cases P = Ud versus P − Ud 1 ≥ α with probability at least 2/3, having sample complexity n = Od1/2 α2

Conclusion

- Suppose there exists an algorithm which takes n samples from an unknown product distribution P ′ over {±1}d and can distinguish between the following two cases with probability at least 2/3: (U1) P ′ = Ud, (U2) P ′ −Ud 1 ≥ cα.
- There exists an algorithm which takes n samples from an unknown product distribution P over {±1}d and can distinguish between the following two cases with probability at least 2/3: (B1) P = Q, (B2) P − Q 1 ≥ α.

Summary

- A foundation of statistical inference is hypothesis testing: given two disjoint sets of probability distributions H0 and H1, the authors want to design an algorithm T that takes a random sample X from some distribution P ∈ H0 ∪ H1 and, with high probability, determines whether P is in H0 or H1.
- There is an exponential-time, ε-differentially private tester A that distinguishes the uniform distribution over {±1}d from any product distribution over {±1}d that is α-far in total variation distance using n = n(d, α, ε) samples for n= O
- In view of the above, one way to find a better private tester would be to identify an alternative statistic for testing uniformity of product distributions with lower global sensitivity.
- This algorithm has two main components: a Lipschitz extension that allows them to control the amount of noise added to the test statistic, and an iterative step that rejects a successively larger class of distributions.
- If the following four conditions hold: (i) X is drawn from a product distribution, (ii) X satisfies (11), (iii) X ∈ C(∆), and (iv) LipschitzExtensionTest(X, ε, ∆, β) returns accept, X ∈ C(∆′) with probability at least 1 − β.
- 3. The number of rounds M is sufficient to guarantee that the sensitivity and the amount of noise added to T(X) in the last test in line 12 is small enough that one distinguishes between the two hypotheses with the desired sample complexity.
- The authors have, by Lemma 4.2 and Chebyshev’s inequality, and recalling that T(X) = T (X), the authors can bound the probability that Algorithm 2 rejects in line 12 as n(n − 1)α2 4
- For hypothesis tests with constant error probabilities, sample complexity bounds for differential privacy are equivalent, up to constant factors, to sample complexity bounds for other notions of distributional algorithmic stability, such as (ε, δ)-DP [DKM+06], concentrated DP [DR16, BS16], KL- and TV-stability [WLF16, BNS+16].
- Algorithm 3 is (4ε, 13δ)-differentially private and distinguishes between the cases P = Ud versus P − Ud 1 ≥ α with probability at least 2/3, having sample complexity n = Od1/2 α2
- Suppose there exists an algorithm which takes n samples from an unknown product distribution P ′ over {±1}d and can distinguish between the following two cases with probability at least 2/3: (U1) P ′ = Ud, (U2) P ′ −Ud 1 ≥ cα.
- There exists an algorithm which takes n samples from an unknown product distribution P over {±1}d and can distinguish between the following two cases with probability at least 2/3: (B1) P = Q, (B2) P − Q 1 ≥ α.

Related work

- Over the last couple decades, there has been significant work on hypothesis testing with a focus on minimax rates. The starting point in the statistics community could be considered the work of Ingster and coauthors [Ing94, Ing97, IS03]. Within theoretical computer science, study on hypothesis testing arose as a subfield of property testing [GGR96, GR00]. Work by Batu et al [BFR+00, BFF+01] formalized several of the commonly studied problems, including testing of uniformity, identity, closeness, and independence. Other representative works in this line include [BKR04, Pan08, Val11, CDVV14, VV14, ADK15, BV15, DKN15, CDGR16, DK16, Gol16, BCG17, DKW18]. Some works on testing in the multivariate setting include testing of independence [BFF+01, AAK+07, RX14, LRR13, ADK15, DK16, CDKS18], and testing on graphical models [CDKS17, DP17, DDK18, GLP18, ABDK18, BBC+19]. We note that graphical models (both Ising models and Bayesian Networks) include the product distribution case we study in this paper. Surveys and more thorough coverage of related work on minimax hypothesis testing include [Rub12, Can15, Gol17, BW18, Kam18].

Funding

- GK was supported as a Microsoft Research Fellow, as part of the Simons-Berkeley Research Fellowship program
- AM was supported by NSF grant CCF-1763786, a Sloan Foundation Research Award, and a postdoctoral fellowship from BU’s Hariri Institute for Computing
- JU and LZ were supported by NSF grants CCF-1718088, CCF-1750640, and CNS-1816028
- CC was supported by a Goldstine Fellowship

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- 2. If P = N (μ, Id×d), then: (a) If X passes the first two checks at line 5 and 11, then X = Xwith high probability, so T (X) = T (X ).

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