FedProto: Federated Prototype Learning over Heterogeneous Devices


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The heterogeneity across devices usually hinders the optimization convergence and generalization performance of federated learning (FL) when the aggregation of devices' knowledge occurs in the gradient space. For example, devices may differ in terms of data distribution, network latency, input/output space, and/or model architecture, which can easily lead to the misalignment of their local gradients. To improve the tolerance to heterogeneity, we propose a novel federated prototype learning (FedProto) framework in which the devices and server communicate the class prototypes instead of the gradients. FedProto aggregates the local prototypes collected from different devices, and then sends the global prototypes back to all devices to regularize the training of local models. The training on each device aims to minimize the classification error on the local data while keeping the resulting local prototypes sufficiently close to the corresponding global ones. Through experiments, we propose a benchmark setting tailored for heterogeneous FL, with FedProto outperforming several recent FL approaches on multiple datasets.
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