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Title:Automated methods for checking differential privacy
Author(s):Ravi, Vishal Jagannath
Advisor(s):Viswanathan, Mahesh
Department / Program:Computer Science
Discipline:Computer Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.S.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):differential privacy
sparse vector
Abstract:Differential privacy is a de facto standard for statistical computations over databases that contain private data. The strength of differential privacy lies in a rigorous mathematical definition which guarantees individual privacy and yet allows for accurate statistical results. Thanks to its mathematical definition, differential privacy is also a natural target for formal analysis. A broad line of work uses logical methods for proving privacy. However, these methods are not complete, and only partially automated. A recent and complementary line of work uses statistical methods for finding privacy violations. However, the methods only provide statistical guarantees (but no proofs). We propose the first decision procedure for checking differential privacy of a non-trivial class of probabilistic computations. Our procedure takes as input a program P parametrized by a privacy budget epsilon and either proves differential privacy for all possible values of epsilon, or generates a counterexample. In addition, our procedure applies both to epsilon-differential privacy and (epsilon, δ)-differential privacy. Technically, the decision procedure is based on a novel and judicious encoding of the semantics class of programs in our class into a decidable fragment of the first-order theory of the reals with exponentiation. We implement our procedure and use it for (dis)proving privacy bounds for many well known examples, including randomized response, histogram, report noisy max and sparse vector.
Issue Date:2019-04-24
Type:Text
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/104913
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Vishal Jagannath Ravi
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-08-23
Date Deposited:2019-05


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