Privacy Enhancing Machine Learning via Removal of Unwanted Dependencies

Mert Al, Semih Yagli, Sun Yuan Kung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rapid rise of IoT and Big Data has facilitated copious data-driven applications to enhance our quality of life. However, the omnipresent and all-encompassing nature of the data collection can generate privacy concerns. Hence, there is a strong need to develop techniques that ensure the data serve only the intended purposes, giving users control over the information they share. To this end, this article studies new variants of supervised and adversarial learning methods, which remove the sensitive information in the data before they are sent out for a particular application. The explored methods optimize privacy-preserving feature mappings and predictive models simultaneously in an end-to-end fashion. Additionally, the models are built with an emphasis on placing little computational burden on the user side so that the data can be desensitized on device in a cheap manner. Experimental results on mobile sensing and face datasets demonstrate that our models can successfully maintain the utility performances of predictive models while causing sensitive predictions to perform poorly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3019-3033
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Adversarial learning
  • Kernel methods
  • data privacy
  • dimension reduction
  • representation learning


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