dp-promise: Differentially Private Diffusion Probabilistic Models for Image Synthesis


Haichen Wang and Shuchao Pang, Nanjing University of Science and Technology; Zhigang Lu, James Cook University; Yihang Rao and Yongbin Zhou, Nanjing University of Science and Technology; Minhui Xue, CSIRO's Data61


Utilizing sensitive images (e.g., human faces) for training DL models raises privacy concerns. One straightforward solution is to replace the private images with synthetic ones generated by deep generative models. Among all image synthesis methods, diffusion models (DMs) yield impressive performance. Unfortunately, recent studies have revealed that DMs incur privacy challenges due to the memorization of the training instances. To preserve the existence of a single private sample of DMs, many works have explored to apply DP on DMs from different perspectives. However, existing works on differentially private DMs only consider DMs as regular deep models, such that they inject unnecessary DP noise in addition to the forward process noise in DMs, damaging the model utility. To address the issue, this paper proposes Differentially Private Diffusion Probabilistic Models for Image Synthesis, dp-promise, which theoretically guarantees approximate DP by leveraging the DM noise during the forward process. Extensive experiments demonstrate that, given the same privacy budget, dp-promise outperforms the state-of-the-art on the image quality of differentially private image synthesis across the standard metrics and datasets.

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