Google Research

Federated Visual Classification with Real-World Data Distribution

European Conference on Computer Vision (2020)

Abstract

Federated Learning enables visual models to be trained on-device, bringing advantages for user privacy (data need never leave the device), but challenges in terms of data diversity and quality. Whilst typical models in the datacenter are trained using data that are independent and identically distributed (IID), data at source are typically far from IID. In this work, we characterize the effect this non-identical distribution has on distributed learning, using as a benchmark the standard Federated Averaging (FedAvg) algorithm. To do so, we introduce two new large-scale datasets for species and landmark classification, with realistic per-user data splits that simulate real-world edge learning scenarios. We also develop two new algorithms (FedVC, FedIR) that intelligently resample and reweight over the client pool, bringing large improvements in accuracy and stability in training.

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