Higher-order approximate relational refinement types for mechanism design and differential privacy

Gilles Barthe, Marco Gaboardi, Emilio Jesús Gallego Arias, Justin Hsu, Aaron Roth, Pierre Yves Strub

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mechanism design is the study of algorithm design where the inputs to the algorithm are controlled by strategic agents, who must be incentivized to faithfully report them. Unlike typical programmatic properties, it is not sufficient for algorithms to merely satisfy the property-incentive properties are only useful if the strategic agents also believe this fact.

Verification is an attractive way to convince agents that the incentive properties actually hold, but mechanism design poses several unique challenges: interesting properties can be sophisticated relational properties of probabilistic computations involving expected values, and mechanisms may rely on other probabilistic properties, like differential privacy, to achieve their goals.

We introduce a relational refinement type system, called HOARe2, for verifying mechanism design and differential privacy. We show that HOARe2 is sound w.r.t. a denotational semantics, and correctly models (ε,δ)-differential privacy; moreover, we show that it subsumes DFuzz, an existing linear dependent type system for differential privacy. Finally, we develop an SMT-based implementation of HOARe2 and use it to verify challenging examples of mechanism design, including auctions and aggregative games, and new proposed examples from differential privacy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 42nd annual ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT symposium on principles of programming languages
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages55-68
Number of pages14
Volume2015-January
ISBN (Print)9781450333009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2015
Event42nd Annual ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages, POPL 2015 - Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India, Mumbai, India
Duration: 12 Jan 201518 Jan 2015
http://popl.mpi-sws.org/2015/

Conference

Conference42nd Annual ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages, POPL 2015
Abbreviated titlePOPL'15
CountryIndia
CityMumbai
Period12/01/1518/01/15
Internet address

Keywords

  • Probabilistic programming
  • Program logics

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  • Cite this

    Barthe, G., Gaboardi, M., Arias, E. J. G., Hsu, J., Roth, A., & Strub, P. Y. (2015). Higher-order approximate relational refinement types for mechanism design and differential privacy. In Proceedings of the 42nd annual ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT symposium on principles of programming languages (Vol. 2015-January, pp. 55-68). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/2676726.2677000