Differential Privacy Meets Maximum-weight Matching

AAAI 2021

Abstract: When it comes to large-scale multi-agent systems with a diverse set of agents, traditional differential privacy (DP) mechanisms are ill-matched because they consider a very broad class of adversaries, and they protect all users, independent of their characteristics, by the same guarantee. Achieving a meaningful privacy leads to pronounced reduction in solution quality. Such assumptions are unnecessary in many real-world applications for three key reasons: (i) users might be willing to disclose less sensitive information (e.g., city of residence, but not exact location), (ii) the attacker might posses auxiliary information (e.g., city of residence in a mobility-on-demand system, or reviewer expertise in a paper assignment problem), and (iii) domain characteristics might exclude a subset of solutions (an expert on auctions would not be assigned to review a robotics paper, thus there is no need for indistinguishably between reviewers on different fields). We introduce Piecewise Local Differential Privacy (PLDP), a privacy model designed to protect the utility function in applications where the attacker possesses additional information on the characteristics of the utility space. PLDP enables a high degree of privacy, while being applicable to real-world, unboundedly large settings. Moreover, we propose PALMA, a privacy-preserving heuristic for maximum-weight matching. We evaluate PALMA in a vehicle-passenger matching scenario using real data and demonstrate that it provides strong privacy, ε≤3 and a median of ε=0.44, and high quality matchings (10.8% worse than the non-private optimal). Authors: Panayiotis Danassis, Aleksei Triastcyn, Boi Faltings (EPFL)