Differentially private subspace clustering

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 28 (NIPS 2015)

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Yining Wang, Yu-Xiang Wang, Aarti Singh


Subspace clustering is an unsupervised learning problem that aims at grouping data points into multiple clusters'' so that data points in a single cluster lie approximately on a low-dimensional linear subspace. It is originally motivated by 3D motion segmentation in computer vision, but has recently been generically applied to a wide range of statistical machine learning problems, which often involves sensitive datasets about human subjects. This raises a dire concern for data privacy. In this work, we build on the framework ofdifferential privacy'' and present two provably private subspace clustering algorithms. We demonstrate via both theory and experiments that one of the presented methods enjoys formal privacy and utility guarantees; the other one asymptotically preserves differential privacy while having good performance in practice. Along the course of the proof, we also obtain two new provable guarantees for the agnostic subspace clustering and the graph connectivity problem which might be of independent interests.