Multimodal Federated Learning via Contrastive Representation EnsembleDownload PDF

Published: 01 Feb 2023, Last Modified: 12 Mar 2024ICLR 2023 posterReaders: Everyone
Keywords: Federated Learning, Multi-modal Learning, Representation-level Ensemble Knowledge Transfer
Abstract: With the increasing amount of multimedia data on modern mobile systems and IoT infrastructures, harnessing these rich multimodal data without breaching user privacy becomes a critical issue. Federated learning (FL) serves as a privacy-conscious alternative to centralized machine learning. However, existing FL methods extended to multimodal data all rely on model aggregation on single modality level, which restrains the server and clients to have identical model architecture for each modality. This limits the global model in terms of both model complexity and data capacity, not to mention task diversity. In this work, we propose \textit{Contrastive Representation Ensemble and Aggregation for Multimodal FL (CreamFL)}, a multimodal federated learning framework that enables training larger server models from clients with heterogeneous model architectures and data modalities, while only communicating knowledge on public dataset. To achieve better multimodal representation fusion, we design a global-local cross-modal ensemble strategy to aggregate client representations. To mitigate local model drift caused by two unprecedented heterogeneous factors stemming from multimodal discrepancy (\textit{modality gap} and \textit{task gap}), we further propose two inter-modal and intra-modal contrasts to regularize local training, which complements information of the absent modality for uni-modal clients and regularizes local clients to head towards global consensus. Thorough evaluations and ablation studies on image-text retrieval and visual question answering tasks showcase the superiority of CreamFL over state-of-the-art FL methods and its practical value.
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TL;DR: CreamFL, a multimodal FL framework using contrastive representation-level ensemble to learn a larger server model from heterogeneous clients across multi-modalities.
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