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Lin Ning

Lin Ning

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    USER-LLM: Efficient LLM Contextualization with User Embedding
    Jiaxing Wu
    Neo Wu
    Devora Berlowitz
    Sushant Prakash
    Bradley Green
    Shawn O'Banion
    Jun Xie
    ArXiv (2024) (to appear)
    Preview abstract Large language models (LLMs) have revolutionized natural language processing. However, effectively incorporating complex and potentially noisy user interaction data remains a challenge. To address this, we propose User-LLM, a novel framework that leverages user embeddings to contextualize LLMs. These embeddings, distilled from diverse user interactions using self-supervised pretraining, capture latent user preferences and their evolution over time. We integrate these user embeddings with LLMs through cross-attention and soft-prompting, enabling LLMs to dynamically adapt to user context. Our comprehensive experiments on MovieLens, Amazon Review, and Google Local Review datasets demonstrate significant performance gains across various tasks. Notably, our approach outperforms text-prompt-based contextualization on long sequence tasks and tasks that require deep user understanding while being computationally efficient. We further incorporate Perceiver layers to streamline the integration between user encoders and LLMs, reducing computational demands. View details
    What Do We Mean by Generalization in Federated Learning?
    Honglin Yuan
    Warren Morningstar
    Karan Singhal
    International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR) (2022)
    Preview abstract Federated learning data is drawn from a distribution of distributions: clients are drawn from a meta-distribution, and their data are drawn from local data distributions. Thus generalization studies in federated learning should separate performance gaps from unseen client data (out-of-sample gap) from performance gaps from unseen client distributions (participation gap). In this work, we propose a framework for disentangling these performance gaps. Using this framework, we observe and explain differences in behavior across natural and synthetic federated datasets, indicating that dataset synthesis strategy can be important for realistic simulations of generalization in federated learning. We propose a semantic synthesis strategy that enables realistic simulation without naturally-partitioned data. Informed by our findings, we call out community suggestions for future federated learning works. View details
    Preview abstract Federated learning (FL) enables learning from decentralized privacy-sensitive data, with computations on raw data confined to take place at edge clients. This paper introduces mixed FL, which incorporates an additional loss term calculated at the coordinating server (while maintaining FL's private data restrictions). There are numerous benefits. For example, additional datacenter data can be leveraged to jointly learn from centralized (datacenter) and decentralized (federated) training data and better match an expected inference data distribution. Mixed FL also enables offloading some intensive computations (e.g., embedding regularization) to the server, greatly reducing communication and client computation load. For these and other mixed FL use cases, we present three algorithms: PARALLEL TRAINING, 1-WAY GRADIENT TRANSFER, and 2-WAY GRADIENT TRANSFER. We state convergence bounds for each, and give intuition on which are suited to particular mixed FL problems. Finally we perform extensive experiments on three tasks, demonstrating that mixed FL can blend training data to achieve an oracle's accuracy on an inference distribution, and can reduce communication and computation overhead by over 90%. Our experiments confirm theoretical predictions of how algorithms perform under different mixed FL problem settings. View details
    EANA: Reducing Privacy Risk on Large-scale Recommendation Models
    Devora Berlowitz
    Mei Chen
    QiQi Xue
    Steve Chien
    16th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (2022)
    Preview abstract Embedding-based deep neural networks (DNNs) are widely used in large-scale recommendation systems. Differentially-private stochastic gradient descent (DP-SGD) provides a way to enable personalized experiences while preserving user privacy by injecting noise into every model parameter during the training process. However, it is challenging to apply DP-SGD to large-scale embedding-based DNNs due to its effect on training speed. This happens because the noise added by DP-SGD causes normally sparse gradients to become dense, introducing a large communication overhead between workers and parameter servers in a typical distributed training framework. This paper proposes embedding-aware noise addition (EANA) to mitigate the communication overhead, making training a large-scale embedding-based DNN possible. We examine the privacy benefit of EANA both analytically and empirically using secret sharer techniques. We demonstrate that training with EANA can achieve reasonable model precision while providing good practical privacy protection as measured by the secret sharer tests. Experiments on a real-world, large-scale dataset and model show that EANA is much faster than standard DP-SGD, improving the training speed by 54X and unblocking the training of a large-scale embedding-based DNN with reduced privacy risk. View details
    Preview abstract Deep retrieval models are widely used for learning entity representations and recommendations. Federated learning provides a privacy-preserving way to train these models without requiring centralization of user data. However, federated deep retrieval models usually perform much worse than their centralized counterparts due to non-IID (independent and identically distributed) training data on clients, an intrinsic property of federated learning that limits negatives available for training. We demonstrate that this issue is distinct from the commonly studied client drift problem. This work proposes batch-insensitive losses as a way to alleviate the non-IID negatives issue for federated movie recommendations. We explore a variety of techniques and identify that batch-insensitive losses can effectively improve the performance of federated deep retrieval models, increasing the relative recall of the federated model by up to 93.15% and reducing the relative gap in recall between it and a centralized model from 27.22% - 43.14% to 0.53% - 2.42%. We also open-source our code framework to accelerate further research and applications of federated deep retrieval models. View details
    Learning Federated Representations and Recommendations with Limited Negatives
    Karan Singhal
    Ellie Zhou
    Sushant Prakash
    1st NeurIPS Workshop on New Frontiers in Federated Learning (NFFL 2021) (2021)
    Preview abstract Deep retrieval models are widely used for learning entity representations and recommendations. Federated learning provides a privacy-preserving way to train these models without requiring centralization of user data. However, federated deep retrieval models usually perform much worse than their centralized counterparts due to non-IID (independent and identically distributed) training data on clients, an intrinsic property of federated learning that limits negatives available for training. We demonstrate that this issue is distinct from the commonly studied client drift problem. This work proposes batch-insensitive losses as a way to alleviate the non-IID negatives issue for federated movie recommendations. We explore a variety of techniques and identify that batch-insensitive losses can effectively improve the performance of federated deep retrieval models, increasing the relative recall of the federated model by up to 93.15% and reducing the relative gap in recall between it and a centralized model from 27.22% - 43.14% to 0.53% - 2.42%. We also open-source our code framework to accelerate further research and applications of federated deep retrieval models. View details
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