Concepts and methods for efficient decentralized learning in federated settings

Mora, Alessio (2023) Concepts and methods for efficient decentralized learning in federated settings, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Computer science and engineering, 35 Ciclo.
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Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) have revolutionized a wide range of applications beyond traditional machine learning and artificial intelligence fields, e.g., computer vision, healthcare, natural language processing and others. At the same time, edge devices have become central in our society, generating an unprecedented amount of data which could be used to train data-hungry models such as DNNs. However, the potentially sensitive or confidential nature of gathered data poses privacy concerns when storing and processing them in centralized locations. To this purpose, decentralized learning decouples model training from the need of directly accessing raw data, by alternating on-device training and periodic communications. The ability of distilling knowledge from decentralized data, however, comes at the cost of facing more challenging learning settings, such as coping with heterogeneous hardware and network connectivity, statistical diversity of data, and ensuring verifiable privacy guarantees. This Thesis proposes an extensive overview of decentralized learning literature, including a novel taxonomy and a detailed description of the most relevant system-level contributions in the related literature for privacy, communication efficiency, data and system heterogeneity, and poisoning defense. Next, this Thesis presents the design of an original solution to tackle communication efficiency and system heterogeneity, and empirically evaluates it on federated settings. For communication efficiency, an original method, specifically designed for Convolutional Neural Networks, is also described and evaluated against the state-of-the-art. Furthermore, this Thesis provides an in-depth review of recently proposed methods to tackle the performance degradation introduced by data heterogeneity, followed by empirical evaluations on challenging data distributions, highlighting strengths and possible weaknesses of the considered solutions. Finally, this Thesis presents a novel perspective on the usage of Knowledge Distillation as a mean for optimizing decentralized learning systems in settings characterized by data heterogeneity or system heterogeneity. Our vision on relevant future research directions close the manuscript.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Mora, Alessio
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Federated Learning, Decentralized Learning, Collaborative Learning
Data di discussione
5 Luglio 2023

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