Machine Unlearning of Federated Clusters

by   Chao Pan, et al.

Federated clustering is an unsupervised learning problem that arises in a number of practical applications, including personalized recommender and healthcare systems. With the adoption of recent laws ensuring the "right to be forgotten", the problem of machine unlearning for federated clustering methods has become of significant importance. This work proposes the first known unlearning mechanism for federated clustering with privacy criteria that support simple, provable, and efficient data removal at the client and server level. The gist of our approach is to combine special initialization procedures with quantization methods that allow for secure aggregation of estimated local cluster counts at the server unit. As part of our platform, we introduce secure compressed multiset aggregation (SCMA), which is of independent interest for secure sparse model aggregation. In order to simultaneously facilitate low communication complexity and secret sharing protocols, we integrate Reed-Solomon encoding with special evaluation points into the new SCMA pipeline and derive bounds on the time and communication complexity of different components of the scheme. Compared to completely retraining K-means++ locally and globally for each removal request, we obtain an average speed-up of roughly 84x across seven datasets, two of which contain biological and medical information that is subject to frequent unlearning requests.


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