Sparsity-Preserving Differentially Private Training of Large Embedding Models

NeurIPS 2023(2023)

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Abstract
As the use of large embedding models in recommendation systems and language applications increases, concerns over user data privacy have also risen. DP-SGD, a training algorithm that combines differential privacy with stochastic gradient descent, has been the workhorse in protecting user privacy without compromising model accuracy by much. However, applying DP-SGD naively to embedding models can destroy gradient sparsity, leading to reduced training efficiency. To address this issue, we present two new algorithms, DP-FEST and DP-AdaFEST, that preserve gradient sparsity during the private training of large embedding models. Our algorithms achieve substantial reductions ($10^6 \times$) in gradient size, while maintaining comparable levels of accuracy, on benchmark real-world datasets.
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Key words
Differential Privacy,Secure Computation,Privacy Preservation,Data Privacy
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