Differentially Private Sliced Wasserstein Distance
Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 139:8810-8820, 2021.
Developing machine learning methods that are privacy preserving is today a central topic of research, with huge practical impacts. Among the numerous ways to address privacy-preserving learning, we here take the perspective of computing the divergences between distributions under the Differential Privacy (DP) framework — being able to compute divergences between distributions is pivotal for many machine learning problems, such as learning generative models or domain adaptation problems. Instead of resorting to the popular gradient-based sanitization method for DP, we tackle the problem at its roots by focusing on the Sliced Wasserstein Distance and seamlessly making it differentially private. Our main contribution is as follows: we analyze the property of adding a Gaussian perturbation to the intrinsic randomized mechanism of the Sliced Wasserstein Distance, and we establish the sensitivity of the resulting differentially private mechanism. One of our important findings is that this DP mechanism transforms the Sliced Wasserstein distance into another distance, that we call the Smoothed Sliced Wasserstein Distance. This new differentially private distribution distance can be plugged into generative models and domain adaptation algorithms in a transparent way, and we empirically show that it yields highly competitive performance compared with gradient-based DP approaches from the literature, with almost no loss in accuracy for the domain adaptation problems that we consider.