skip to main content

Search for: All records

Award ID contains: 1844951

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Federated learning allows edge devices to collaboratively learn a shared model while keeping the training data on device, decoupling the ability to do model training from the need to store the data in the cloud. We propose the Federated matched averaging (FedMA) algorithm designed for federated learning of modern neural network architectures e.g. convolutional neural networks (CNNs) and LSTMs. FedMA constructs the shared global model in a layer-wise manner by matching and averaging hidden elements (i.e. channels for convolution layers; hidden states for LSTM; neurons for fully connected layers) with similar feature extraction signatures. Our experiments indicate that FedMA not only outperforms popular state-of-the-art federated learning algorithms on deep CNN and LSTM architectures trained on real world datasets, but also reduces the overall communication burden.
  2. Several works have aimed to explain why overparameterized neural networks generalize well when trained by Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD). The consensus explanation that has emerged credits the randomized nature of SGD for the bias of the training process towards low-complexity models and, thus, for implicit regularization. We take a careful look at this explanation in the context of image classification with common deep neural network architectures. We find that if we do not regularize explicitly, then SGD can be easily made to converge to poorly-generalizing, high-complexity models: all it takes is to first train on a random labeling on the data, before switching to properly training with the correct labels. In contrast, we find that in the presence of explicit regularization, pretraining with random labels has no detrimental effect on SGD. We believe that our results give evidence that explicit regularization plays a far more important role in the success of overparameterized neural networks than what has been understood until now. Specifically, by penalizing complicated models independently of their fit to the data, regularization affects training dynamics also far away from optima, making simple models that fit the data well discoverable by local methods, such as SGD.
  3. Due to its decentralized nature, Federated Learning (FL) lends itself to adversarial attacks in the form of backdoors during training. The goal of a backdoor is to corrupt the performance of the trained model on specific sub-tasks (e.g., by classifying green cars as frogs). A range of FL backdoor attacks have been introduced in the literature, but also methods to defend against them, and it is currently an open question whether FL systems can be tailored to be robust against backdoors. In this work, we provide evidence to the contrary. We first establish that, in the general case, robustness to backdoors implies model robustness to adversarial examples, a major open problem in itself. Furthermore, detecting the presence of a backdoor in a FL model is unlikely assuming first order oracles or polynomial time. We couple our theoretical results with a new family of backdoor attacks, which we refer to as edge-case backdoors. An edge-case backdoor forces a model to misclassify on seemingly easy inputs that are however unlikely to be part of the training, or test data, i.e., they live on the tail of the input distribution. We explain how these edge-case backdoors can lead to unsavory failures and maymore »have serious repercussions on fairness, and exhibit that with careful tuning at the side of the adversary, one can insert them across a range of machine learning tasks (e.g., image classification, OCR, text prediction, sentiment analysis).« less
  4. To improve the resilience of distributed training to worst-case, or Byzantine node failures, several recent approaches have replaced gradient averaging with robust aggregation methods. Such techniques can have high computational costs, often quadratic in the number of compute nodes, and only have limited robustness guarantees. Other methods have instead used redundancy to guarantee robustness, but can only tolerate limited number of Byzantine failures. In this work, we present DETOX, a Byzantine-resilient distributed training framework that combines algorithmic redundancy with robust aggregation. DETOX operates in two steps, a filtering step that uses limited redundancy to significantly reduce the effect of Byzantine nodes, and a hierarchical aggregation step that can be used in tandem with any state-of-the-art robust aggregation method. We show theoretically that this leads to a substantial increase in robustness, and has a per iteration runtime that can be nearly linear in the number of compute nodes. We provide extensive experiments over real distributed setups across a variety of large-scale machine learning tasks, showing that DETOX leads to orders of magnitude accuracy and speedup improvements over many state-of-the-art Byzantine-resilient approaches.
  5. Data augmentation (DA) is commonly used during model training, as it significantly improves test error and model robustness. DA artificially expands the training set by applying random noise, rotations, crops, or even adversarial perturbations to the input data. Although DA is widely used, its capacity to provably improve robustness is not fully understood. In this work, we analyze the robustness that DA begets by quantifying the margin that DA enforces on empirical risk minimizers. We first focus on linear separators, and then a class of nonlinear models whose labeling is constant within small convex hulls of data points. We present lower bounds on the number of augmented data points required for non-zero margin, and show that commonly used DA techniques may only introduce significant margin after adding exponentially many points to the data set.