skip to main content


Title: FedExp: Speeding Up Federated Averaging via Extrapolation
Federated Averaging (FedAvg) remains the most popular algorithm for Federated Learning (FL) optimization due to its simple implementation, stateless nature, and privacy guarantees combined with secure aggregation. Recent work has sought to generalize the vanilla averaging in FedAvg to a generalized gradient descent step by treating client updates as pseudo-gradients and using a server step size. While the use of a server step size has been shown to provide performance improvement theoretically, the practical benefit of the server step size has not been seen in most existing works. In this work, we present FedExP, a method to adaptively determine the server step size in FL based on dynamically varying pseudo-gradients throughout the FL process. We begin by considering the overparameterized convex regime, where we reveal an interesting similarity between FedAvg and the Projection Onto Convex Sets (POCS) algorithm. We then show how FedExP can be motivated as a novel extension to the extrapolation mechanism that is used to speed up POCS. Our theoretical analysis later also discusses the implications of FedExP in underparameterized and non-convex settings. Experimental results show that FedExP consistently converges faster than FedAvg and competing baselines on a range of realistic FL datasets.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2111751 2045694
NSF-PAR ID:
10424804
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Publisher / Repository:
International Conference on Learning Representations
Date Published:
Journal Name:
International Conference on Learning Representations
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Motivated by the ever-increasing concerns on personal data privacy and the rapidly growing data volume at local clients, federated learning (FL) has emerged as a new machine learning setting. An FL system is comprised of a central parameter server and multiple local clients. It keeps data at local clients and learns a centralized model by sharing the model parameters learned locally. No local data needs to be shared, and privacy can be well protected. Nevertheless, since it is the model instead of the raw data that is shared, the system can be exposed to the poisoning model attacks launched by malicious clients. Furthermore, it is challenging to identify malicious clients since no local client data is available on the server. Besides, membership inference attacks can still be performed by using the uploaded model to estimate the client's local data, leading to privacy disclosure. In this work, we first propose a model update based federated averaging algorithm to defend against Byzantine attacks such as additive noise attacks and sign-flipping attacks. The individual client model initialization method is presented to provide further privacy protections from the membership inference attacks by hiding the individual local machine learning model. When combining these two schemes, privacy and security can be both effectively enhanced. The proposed schemes are proved to converge experimentally under non-lID data distribution when there are no attacks. Under Byzantine attacks, the proposed schemes perform much better than the classical model based FedAvg algorithm. 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract Objective

    Federated learning (FL) allows multiple distributed data holders to collaboratively learn a shared model without data sharing. However, individual health system data are heterogeneous. “Personalized” FL variations have been developed to counter data heterogeneity, but few have been evaluated using real-world healthcare data. The purpose of this study is to investigate the performance of a single-site versus a 3-client federated model using a previously described Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) diagnostic model. Additionally, to investigate the effect of system heterogeneity, we evaluate the performance of 4 FL variations.

    Materials and methods

    We leverage a FL healthcare collaborative including data from 5 international healthcare systems (US and Europe) encompassing 42 hospitals. We implemented a COVID-19 computer vision diagnosis system using the Federated Averaging (FedAvg) algorithm implemented on Clara Train SDK 4.0. To study the effect of data heterogeneity, training data was pooled from 3 systems locally and federation was simulated. We compared a centralized/pooled model, versus FedAvg, and 3 personalized FL variations (FedProx, FedBN, and FedAMP).

    Results

    We observed comparable model performance with respect to internal validation (local model: AUROC 0.94 vs FedAvg: 0.95, P = .5) and improved model generalizability with the FedAvg model (P < .05). When investigating the effects of model heterogeneity, we observed poor performance with FedAvg on internal validation as compared to personalized FL algorithms. FedAvg did have improved generalizability compared to personalized FL algorithms. On average, FedBN had the best rank performance on internal and external validation.

    Conclusion

    FedAvg can significantly improve the generalization of the model compared to other personalization FL algorithms; however, at the cost of poor internal validity. Personalized FL may offer an opportunity to develop both internal and externally validated algorithms.

     
    more » « less
  3. Providing privacy protection has been one of the primary motivations of Federated Learning (FL). Recently, there has been a line of work on incorporating the formal privacy notion of differential privacy with FL. To guarantee the client-level differential privacy in FL algorithms, the clients’ transmitted model updates have to be clipped before adding privacy noise. Such clipping operation is substantially different from its counterpart of gradient clipping in the centralized differentially private SGD and has not been well-understood. In this paper, we first empirically demonstrate that the clipped FedAvg can perform surprisingly well even with substantial data heterogeneity when training neural networks, which is partly because the clients’ updates become similar for several popular deep architectures. Based on this key observation, we provide the convergence analysis of a differential private (DP) FedAvg algorithm and highlight the relationship between clipping bias and the distribution of the clients’ updates. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work that rigorously investigates theoretical and empirical issues regarding the clipping operation in FL algorithms. 
    more » « less
  4. Federated Averaging (FedAvg) and its variants are the most popular optimization algorithms in federated learning (FL). Previous convergence analyses of FedAvg either assume full client participation or partial client participation where the clients can be uniformly sampled. However, in practical cross-device FL systems, only a subset of clients that satisfy local criteria such as battery status, network connectivity, and maximum participation frequency requirements (to ensure privacy) are available for training at a given time. As a result, client availability follows a natural cyclic pattern. We provide (to our knowledge) the first theoretical framework to analyze the convergence of FedAvg with cyclic client participation with several different client optimizers such as GD, SGD, and shuffled SGD. Our analysis discovers that cyclic client participation can achieve a faster asymptotic convergence rate than vanilla FedAvg with uniform client participation under suitable conditions, providing valuable insights into the design of client sampling protocols. 
    more » « less
  5. We consider the problem of predicting cellular network performance (signal maps) from measurements collected by several mobile devices. We formulate the problem within the online federated learning framework: (i) federated learning (FL) enables users to collaboratively train a model, while keeping their training data on their devices; (ii) measurements are collected as users move around over time and are used for local training in an online fashion. We consider an honest-but-curious server, who observes the updates from target users participating in FL and infers their location using a deep leakage from gradients (DLG) type of attack, originally developed to reconstruct training data of DNN image classifiers. We make the key observation that a DLG attack, applied to our setting, infers the average location of a batch of local data, and can thus be used to reconstruct the target users' trajectory at a coarse granularity. We build on this observation to protect location privacy, in our setting, by revisiting and designing mechanisms within the federated learning framework including: tuning the FL parameters for averaging, curating local batches so as to mislead the DLG attacker, and aggregating across multiple users with different trajectories. We evaluate the performance of our algorithms through both analysis and simulation based on real-world mobile datasets, and we show that they achieve a good privacy-utility tradeoff. 
    more » « less