DP-PQD: Privately Detecting Per-Query Gaps In Synthetic Data Generated By Black-Box Mechanisms


Synthetic data generation methods, and in particular, private synthetic data generation methods, are gaining popularity as a means to make copies of sensitive databases that can be shared widely for research and data analysis. Some of the fundamental operations in data analysis include analyzing aggregated statistics, e.g., count, sum, or median, on a subset of data satisfying some conditions. When synthetic data is generated, users may be interested in knowing if their aggregated queries generating such statistics can be reliably answered on the synthetic data, for instance, to decide if the synthetic data is suitable for specific tasks. However, the standard data generation systems do not provide per-query quality guarantees on the synthetic data, and the users have no way of knowing how much the aggregated statistics on the synthetic data can be trusted. To address this problem, we present a novel framework named DP-PQD (differentially-private per-query decider) to detect if the query answers on the private and synthetic datasets are within a user-specified threshold of each other while guaranteeing differential privacy. We give a suite of private algorithms for per-query deciders for count, sum, and median queries, analyze their properties, and evaluate them experimentally.

In PVLDB 17(1), 2024
Amir Gilad
Amir Gilad
Assistant Professor

The Hebrew University