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On Differentially Private Federated Linear Contextual Bandits

Xingyu Zhou · Sayak Ray Chowdhury

Halle B #272
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Wed 8 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


We consider cross-silo federated linear contextual bandit (LCB) problem under differential privacy, where multiple silos interact with their respective local users and communicate via a central server to realize collaboration without sacrificing each user's privacy. We identify three issues in the state-of-the-art~\citep{dubey2020differentially}: (i) failure of claimed privacy protection, (ii) incorrect regret bound due to noise miscalculation and (iii) ungrounded communication cost. To resolve these issues, we take a two-step approach. First, we design an algorithmic framework consisting of a generic federated LCB algorithm and flexible privacy protocols. Then, leveraging the proposed framework, we study federated LCBs under two different privacy constraints. We first establish privacy and regret guarantees under silo-level local differential privacy, which fix the issues present in state-of-the-art algorithm.To further improve the regret performance, we next consider shuffle model of differential privacy, under which we show that our algorithm can achieve nearly ``optimal'' regret without a trusted server. We accomplish this via two different schemes -- one relies on a new result on privacy amplification via shuffling for DP mechanisms and another one leverages the integration of a shuffle protocol for vector sum into the tree-based mechanism, both of which might be of independent interest. Finally, we support our theoretical results withnumerical evaluations over contextual bandit instances generated from both synthetic and real-life data.

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