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Lara McConnaughey

Lara McConnaughey

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    Preview abstract How well do existing federated learning algorithms learn from client devices that return model updates with a significant time delay? Is it even possible to learn effectively from clients that report back minutes, hours, or days after being scheduled? We answer these questions by developing Monte Carlo simulations of client latency that are guided by real-world applications. We compare well-known synchronous optimization algorithms like FedAvg and FedAdam with the state-of-the-art asynchronous FedBuff algorithm, and discover that these existing approaches often struggle to learn from severely delayed clients. To improve upon these, we experiment with modifications including distillation regularization and exponential moving averages of model weights. Finally, we invent two new algorithms, FARe-DUST and FeAST-on-MSG, based on distillation and averaging, respectively. Experiments with the EMNIST, CIFAR-100, and StackOverflow benchmark federated learning tasks demonstrate that our new algorithms outperform existing ones in terms of accuracy for straggler clients, while also providing better trade-offs between training time and total accuracy. View details
    Preview abstract Most studies in cross-device federated learning focus on small models, due to the server-client communication and on-device computation bottlenecks. In this work, we leverage various techniques for mitigating these bottlenecks to train larger language models in cross-device federated learning. With systematic applications of partial model training, quantization, efficient transfer learning, and communication-efficient optimizers, we are able to train a 21M parameter Transformer that achieves the same perplexity as that of a similarly sized LSTM with ~10x smaller client-to-server communication cost and 11% lower perplexity than smaller LSTMs commonly studied in literature. View details
    Preview abstract Personalization of speech models on mobile devices (on-device personalization) is an active area of research, but more often than not, mobile devices have more text-only data than paired audio-text data. We explore training a personalized language model on text-only data, used during inference to improve speech recognition performance for that user. We experiment on a user-clustered LibriSpeech corpus, supplemented with personalized text-only data for each user from Project Gutenberg. We release this User-Specific LibriSpeech (UserLibri) dataset to aid future personalization research. LibriSpeech audio-transcript pairs are grouped into 55 users from the test-clean dataset and 52 users from test-other. We are able to lower the average word error rate per user across both sets in streaming and nonstreaming models, including an improvement of 2.5 for the harder set of test-other users when streaming. View details
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