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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2025
  2. We consider distributed gradient computation, where both data and computation are distributed among m worker machines, t of which can be Byzantine adversaries, and a designated (master) node computes the model/parameter vector for generalized linear models, iteratively, using proximal gradient descent (PGD), of which gradient descent (GD) is a special case. The Byzantine adversaries can (collaboratively) deviate arbitrarily from their gradient computation. To solve this, we propose a method based on data encoding and (real) error correction to combat the adversarial behavior. We can tolerate up to t <= (m−1)/2 corrupt worker nodes, which is 2 information-theoretically optimal. Our method does not assume any probability distribution on the data. We develop a sparse encoding scheme which enables computationally efficient data encoding. We demonstrate a trade-off between the number of adversaries tolerated and the resource requirement (storage and computational complexity). As an example, our scheme incurs a constant overhead (storage and computational complexity) over that required by the distributed PGD algorithm, without adversaries, for t <= m . Our encoding works as efficiently in the streaming data setting as it does in the offline setting, in which all the data is available beforehand. 
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