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Wennan Zhu

Wennan Zhu

Wennan Zhu is a research scientist working on federated analytics, decentralized and private-preserving computation. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she worked on social choice algorithms and algorithmic game theory. Visit her homepage for more information.
Authored Publications
Google Publications
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    A Field Guide to Federated Optimization
    Jianyu Wang
    Gauri Joshi
    Maruan Al-Shedivat
    Galen Andrew
    A. Salman Avestimehr
    Katharine Daly
    Deepesh Data
    Suhas Diggavi
    Hubert Eichner
    Advait Gadhikar
    Antonious M. Girgis
    Filip Hanzely
    Chaoyang He
    Samuel Horvath
    Zhouyuan Huo
    Martin Jaggi
    Tara Javidi
    Peter Kairouz
    Satyen Chandrakant Kale
    Sai Praneeth Karimireddy
    Jakub Konečný
    Sanmi Koyejo
    Tian Li
    Peter Richtarik
    Karan Singhal
    Virginia Smith
    Mahdi Soltanolkotabi
    Weikang Song
    Ananda Theertha Suresh
    Sebastian Stich
    Ameet Talwalkar
    Hongyi Wang
    Blake Woodworth
    Shanshan Wu
    Honglin Yuan
    Mi Zhang
    Tong Zhang
    Chunxiang (Jake) Zheng
    Chen Zhu
    arxiv (2021)
    Preview abstract Federated learning and analytics are a distributed approach for collaboratively learning models (or statistics) from decentralized data, motivated by and designed for privacy protection. The distributed learning process can be formulated as solving federated optimization problems, which emphasize communication efficiency, data heterogeneity, compatibility with privacy and system requirements, and other constraints that are not primary considerations in other problem settings. This paper provides recommendations and guidelines on formulating, designing, evaluating and analyzing federated optimization algorithms through concrete examples and practical implementation, with a focus on conducting effective simulations to infer real-world performance. The goal of this work is not to survey the current literature, but to inspire researchers and practitioners to design federated learning algorithms that can be used in various practical applications. View details
    Federated Heavy Hitters with Differential Privacy
    Peter Kairouz
    Haicheng Sun
    Vivian (Wei) Li
    International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS) 2020
    Preview abstract The discovery of heavy hitters (most frequent items) in user-generated data streams drives improvements in the app and web ecosystems, but can incur substantial privacy risks if not done with care. To address these risks, we propose a distributed and privacy-preserving algorithm for discovering the heavy hitters in a population of user-generated data streams. We leverage the sampling property of our distributed algorithm to prove that it is inherently differentially private, without requiring additional noise. We also examine the trade-off between privacy and utility, and show that our algorithm provides excellent utility while also achieving strong privacy guarantees. A significant advantage of this approach is that it eliminates the need to centralize raw data while also avoiding the significant loss in utility incurred by local differential privacy. We validate our findings both theoretically, using worst-case analyses, and practically, using a Twitter dataset with 1.6M tweets and over 650k users. Finally, we carefully compare our approach to Apple's local differential privacy method for discovering heavy hitters. View details
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