Anonymized Histograms in Intermediate Privacy Models

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Badih Ghazi, Pritish Kamath, Ravi Kumar, Pasin Manurangsi


We study the problem of privately computing the $\mbox{\it anonymized histogram}$ (a.k.a. $\mbox{\it unattributed histogram}$), which is defined as the histogram without item labels. Previous works have provided algorithms with $\ell_1$- and $\ell_2^2$-errors of $O_\varepsilon(\sqrt{n})$ in the central model of differential privacy (DP).In this work, we provide an algorithm with a nearly matching error guarantee of $\widetilde{O}_\varepsilon(\sqrt{n})$ in the shuffle DP and pan-private models. Our algorithm is very simple: it just post-processes the discrete Laplace-noised histogram! Using this algorithm as a subroutine, we show applications in privately estimating symmetric properties of distributions such as entropy, support coverage, and support size.