User-level Differentially Private Stochastic Convex Optimization: Efficient Algorithms with Optimal Rates

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We study differentially private stochastic convex optimization (DP-SCO) under user-level privacy where each user may hold multiple data items. Existing work for user-level DP-SCO either requires super-polynomial runtime or requires number of users that grows polynomially with the dimensionality of the problem. We develop new algorithms for user-level DP-SCO that obtain optimal rates, run in polynomial time, and require a number of users that grow logarithmically in the dimension. Moreover, our algorithms are the first to obtain optimal rates for non-smooth functions in polynomial time. These algorithms are based on multiple-pass DP-SGD, combined with a novel private mean estimation procedure for concentrated data, which applies an outlier removal step before estimating the mean of the gradients.

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