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Paper 2018/411

Unsupervised Machine Learning on Encrypted Data

Angela Jäschke and Frederik Armknecht


In the context of Fully Homomorphic Encryption, which allows computations on encrypted data, Machine Learning has been one of the most popular applications in the recent past. All of these works, however, have focused on supervised learning, where there is a labeled training set that is used to configure the model. In this work, we take the first step into the realm of unsupervised learning, which is an important area in Machine Learning and has many real-world applications, by addressing the clustering problem. To this end, we show how to implement the K-Means-Algorithm. This algorithm poses several challenges in the FHE context, including a division, which we tackle by using a natural encoding that allows division and may be of independent interest. While this theoretically solves the problem, performance in practice is not optimal, so we then propose some changes to the clustering algorithm to make it executable under more conventional encodings. We show that our new algorithm achieves a clustering accuracy comparable to the original K-Means-Algorithm, but has less than $5\%$ of its runtime.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Preprint. MAJOR revision.
Machine LearningClusteringFully Homomorphic Encryption
Contact author(s)
jaeschke @ uni-mannheim de
2018-05-10: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Angela Jäschke and Frederik Armknecht},
      title = {Unsupervised Machine Learning on Encrypted Data},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2018/411},
      year = {2018},
      note = {\url{https://eprint.iacr.org/2018/411}},
      url = {https://eprint.iacr.org/2018/411}
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