Decentralized Federated Learning

Investigator: Bryan Low.

How can multiple data owners collectively learn and fuse their ML models? We present two approaches.

In the first work, we presents a novel Collective Online Learning of Gaussian Processes (COOL-GP) framework for enabling a massive number of GP inference agents to simultaneously perform (a) efficient online updates of their GP models using their local streaming data with varying correlation structures and (b) decentralized fusion of their resulting online GP models with different learned hyperparameter settings and inducing inputs. To realize this, we exploit the notion of a common encoding structure to encapsulate the local streaming data gathered by any GP inference agent into summary statistics based on our proposed representation, which is amenable to both an efficient online update via an importance sampling trick as well as multi-agent model fusion via decentralized message passing that can exploit sparse connectivity among agents for improving efficiency and enhance the robustness of our framework against transmission loss.

Our second work address the fundamental problem in collective machine learning (ML) where independent experts with heterogeneous learning architectures are required to combine expertise to improve predictive performance. This is particularly challenging in information-sensitive domains where experts do not have access to each other’s internal architecture and local data. This paper presents the first collective model fusion framework for multiple experts with heterogeneous black-box architectures. The proposed method will enable this by addressing the key issues of how black-box experts interact to understand the predictive behaviors of one another; how these understandings can be represented and shared efficiently among themselves; and how the shared understandings can be combined to generate high-quality consensus prediction.


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