Keywords: Bayesian inference, latent variable, MCMC, federated learning
Abstract: Personalised federated learning (FL) aims at collaboratively learning a machine learning model tailored for each client. Albeit promising advances have been made in this direction, most of the existing approaches do not allow for uncertainty quantification which is crucial in many applications. In addition, personalisation in the cross-silo and cross-device setting still involves important issues, especially for new clients or those having a small number of observations. This paper aims at filling these gaps. To this end, we propose a novel methodology coined FedPop by recasting personalised FL into the population modeling paradigm where clients’ models involve fixed common population parameters and random effects, aiming at explaining data heterogeneity. To derive convergence guarantees for our scheme, we introduce a new class of federated stochastic optimisation algorithms that relies on Markov chain Monte Carlo methods. Compared to existing personalised FL methods, the proposed methodology has important benefits: it is robust to client drift, practical for inference on new clients, and above all, enables uncertainty quantification under mild computational and memory overheads. We provide nonasymptotic convergence guarantees for the proposed algorithms and illustrate their performances on various personalised federated learning tasks.
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