Skip to yearly menu bar Skip to main content


Private Learning with Public Features

Walid Krichene · Nicolas Mayoraz · Steffen Rendle · Shuang Song · Abhradeep Thakurta · Li Zhang

MR1 & MR2 - Number 82
[ ]
Sat 4 May 6 a.m. PDT — 8:30 a.m. PDT


We study a class of private learning problems in which the data is a join of private and public features. This is often the case in private personalization tasks such as recommendation or ad prediction, in which features related to individuals are sensitive, while features related to items (the movies or songs to be recommended, or the ads to be shown to users) are publicly available and do not require protection. A natural question is whether private algorithms can achieve higher utility in the presence of public features. We give a positive answer for multi-encoder models where one of the encoders operates on public features. We develop new algorithms that take advantage of this separation by only protecting certain sufficient statistics (instead of adding noise to the gradient). This method has a guaranteed utility improvement for linear regression, and importantly, achieves the state of the art on two standard private recommendation benchmarks, demonstrating the importance of methods that adapt to the private-public feature separation.

Live content is unavailable. Log in and register to view live content