Rethinking Architecture Design for Tackling Data Heterogeneity in Federated Learning

Federated learning is an emerging research paradigm enabling collaborative training of machine learning models among different organizations while keeping data private at each institution. Despite recent progress, there remain fundamental challenges such as the lack of convergence and the potential for catastrophic forgetting across real-world heterogeneous devices. In this paper, we demonstrate that self-attention-based architectures (e.g., Transformers) are more robust to distribution shifts and hence improve federated learning over heterogeneous data. Concretely, we conduct the first rigorous empirical investigation of different neural architectures across a range of federated algorithms, real-world benchmarks, and heterogeneous data splits. Our experiments show that simply replacing convolutional networks with Transformers can greatly reduce catastrophic forgetting of previous devices, accelerate convergence, and reach a better global model, especially when dealing with heterogeneous data. We release our code and pretrained models at to encourage future exploration in robust architectures as an alternative to current research efforts on the optimization front.

PDF Abstract CVPR 2022 PDF CVPR 2022 Abstract

Results from the Paper

  Submit results from this paper to get state-of-the-art GitHub badges and help the community compare results to other papers.


No methods listed for this paper. Add relevant methods here