Decentralized Decoupled Training for Federated Long-Tailed Learning

Published: 28 Apr 2024, Last Modified: 28 Apr 2024Accepted by TMLREveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Abstract: In the real world, the data samples often follow a long-tailed distribution, which poses a great challenge for Federated Learning (FL). That is, when the data is decentralized and long-tailed, FL may produce a poorly-behaved global model that is severely biased towards the head classes with the majority of the training samples. To settle this issue, decoupled training has recently been introduced to FL. Decoupled training aims to re-balance the biased classifier after the normal instance-balanced training, and has achieved promising results in centralized long-tailed learning. The current study directly adopts the decoupled training idea on the server side by re-training the classifier on a set of pseudo features, due to the unavailability of a global balanced dataset in FL. Unfortunately, this practice restricts the capacity of decoupled training in federated long-tailed learning as the low-quality pseudo features lead to a sub-optimal classifier. In this work, motivated by the distributed characteristic of FL, we propose a decentralized decoupled training mechanism by leveraging the abundant real data stored in the local. Specifically, we integrate the local real data with the global gradient prototypes to form the local balanced datasets, and thus re-balance the classifier during the local training. Furthermore, we introduce a supplementary classifier in the training phase to help model the global data distribution, which addresses the problem of contradictory optimization goals caused by performing classifier re-balancing locally. Extensive experiments show that our method consistently outperforms the existing state-of-the-art methods in various settings. Our code is available at
Submission Length: Regular submission (no more than 12 pages of main content)
Assigned Action Editor: ~Bo_Li19
Submission Number: 2058