Faster Non-Convex Federated Learning via Global and Local MomentumDownload PDF

Published: 20 May 2022, Last Modified: 05 May 2023UAI 2022 PosterReaders: Everyone
Keywords: federated learning, non-convex optimization, variance-reduction, heterogeneity, communication-efficiency
TL;DR: We propose an algorithm for provably faster federated learning by applying variance-reducing momentum in the local client updates as well as the global server aggregation step.
Abstract: We propose \texttt{FedGLOMO}, a novel federated learning (FL) algorithm with an iteration complexity of $\mathcal{O}(\epsilon^{-1.5})$ to converge to an $\epsilon$-stationary point (i.e., $\mathbb{E}[\|\nabla f(x)\|^2] \leq \epsilon$) for smooth non-convex functions -- under arbitrary client heterogeneity and compressed communication -- compared to the $\mathcal{O}(\epsilon^{-2})$ complexity of most prior works. Our key algorithmic idea that enables achieving this improved complexity is based on the observation that the convergence in FL is hampered by two sources of high variance: (i) the global server aggregation step with multiple local updates, exacerbated by client heterogeneity, and (ii) the noise of the local client-level stochastic gradients. The first issue is particularly detrimental to FL algorithms that perform plain averaging at the server. By modeling the server aggregation step as a generalized gradient-type update, we propose a variance-reducing momentum-based global update at the server, which when applied in conjunction with variance-reduced local updates at the clients, enables \texttt{FedGLOMO} to enjoy an improved convergence rate. Our experiments illustrate the intrinsic variance reduction effect of \texttt{FedGLOMO}, which implicitly suppresses client-drift in heterogeneous data distribution settings and promotes communication efficiency.
Supplementary Material: zip
4 Replies