Enabling Fast Differentially Private SGD via Just-in-Time Compilation and Vectorization

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)

Bibtex Paper Reviews And Public Comment » Supplemental


Pranav Subramani, Nicholas Vadivelu, Gautam Kamath


A common pain point in differentially private machine learning is the significant runtime overhead incurred when executing Differentially Private Stochastic Gradient Descent (DPSGD), which may be as large as two orders of magnitude. We thoroughly demonstrate that by exploiting powerful language primitives, including vectorization, just-in-time compilation, and static graph optimization, one can dramatically reduce these overheads, in many cases nearly matching the best non-private running times. These gains are realized in two frameworks: one is JAX, which provides rich support for these primitives through the XLA compiler. We also rebuild core parts of TensorFlow Privacy, integrating more effective vectorization as well as XLA compilation, granting significant memory and runtime improvements over previous release versions. Our proposed approaches allow us to achieve up to 50x speedups compared to the best alternatives. Our code is available at https://github.com/TheSalon/fast-dpsgd.