A common goal of privacy research is to release synthetic data that satisfies a formal privacy guarantee and can be used by an analyst in place of the original data. To achieve reasonable accuracy, a synthetic data set must be tuned to support a specified set of queries accurately, sacrificing fidelity for other queries.
This work considers methods for producing synthetic data under differential privacy and investigates what makes a set of queries "easy" or "hard" to answer. We consider answering sets of linear counting queries using the matrix mechanism, a recent differentially-private mechanism that can reduce error by adding complex correlated noise adapted to a specified workload.
Our main result is a novel lower bound on the minimum total error required to simultaneously release answers to a set of workload queries. The bound reveals that the hardness of a query workload is related to the spectral properties of the workload when it is represented in matrix form. The bound is most informative for (ε δ)-differential privacy but also applies to ε-differential privacy.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/gerome_miklau/4/