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Reports (Research Report) Year : 2021

What Do Our Choices Say About Our Preferences?


Taking online decisions is a part of everyday life. Think of buying a house, parking a car or taking part in an auction. We often take those decisions publicly, which may breach our privacy - a party observing our choices may learn a lot about our preferences. In this paper we investigate the online stopping algorithms from the privacy preserving perspective, using a mathematically rigorous differential privacy notion. In differentially private algorithms there is usually an issue of balancing the privacy and utility. In this regime, in most cases, having both optimality and high level of privacy at the same time is impossible. We propose a natural mechanism to achieve a controllable trade-off, quantified by a parameter, between the accuracy of the online algorithm and its privacy. Depending on the parameter, our mechanism can be optimal with weaker differential privacy or suboptimal, yet more privacy-preserving. We conduct a detailed accuracy and privacy analysis of our mechanism applied to the optimal algorithm for the classical secretary problem. Thereby the classical notions from two distinct areas - optimal stopping and differential privacy - meet for the first time.
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Dates and versions

hal-03462572 , version 1 (03-12-2021)



Małgorzata Sulkowska, Krzysztof Grining, Marek Klonowski. What Do Our Choices Say About Our Preferences?. [Research Report] Combinatorics, Optimization and Algorithms for Telecommunications [researchteam] (211142); Wrocław University of Science and Technology. 2021. ⟨hal-03462572⟩
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