Communication-Efficient Triangle Counting under Local Differential Privacy


Jacob Imola, UC San Diego; Takao Murakami, AIST; Kamalika Chaudhuri, UC San Diego


Triangle counting in networks under LDP (Local Differential Privacy) is a fundamental task for analyzing connection patterns or calculating a clustering coefficient while strongly protecting sensitive friendships from a central server. In particular, a recent study proposes an algorithm for this task that uses two rounds of interaction between users and the server to significantly reduce estimation error. However, this algorithm suffers from a prohibitively high communication cost due to a large noisy graph each user needs to download.

In this work, we propose triangle counting algorithms under LDP with a small estimation error and communication cost. We first propose two-rounds algorithms consisting of edge sampling and carefully selecting edges each user downloads so that the estimation error is small. Then we propose a double clipping technique, which clips the number of edges and then the number of noisy triangles, to significantly reduce the sensitivity of each user's query. Through comprehensive evaluation, we show that our algorithms dramatically reduce the communication cost of the existing algorithm, e.g., from 6 hours to 8 seconds or less at a 20 Mbps download rate, while keeping a small estimation error.

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@inproceedings {279970,
author = {Jacob Imola and Takao Murakami and Kamalika Chaudhuri},
title = {{Communication-Efficient} Triangle Counting under Local Differential Privacy},
booktitle = {31st USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 22)},
year = {2022},
isbn = {978-1-939133-31-1},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {537--554},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug,