A Systematic Evaluation of Federated Learning on Biomedical Natural Language ProcessingDownload PDF

Published: 25 Jun 2023, Last Modified: 20 Jul 2023FL4Data-Mining PosterReaders: Everyone
Keywords: Federated Learning, biomedical natural language processing
Abstract: Language models (LMs) like BERT and GPT have revolutionized natural language processing (NLP). However, privacy-sensitive domains, particularly the medical field, face challenges to train LMs due to limited data access and privacy constraints imposed by regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Federated learning (FL) offers a decentralized solution that enables collaborative learning while ensuring the preservation of data privacy. In this study, we systematically evaluate FL in medicine across 2 biomedical NLP tasks using 6 LMs encompassing 8 corpora. Our results showed that: 1) FL models consistently outperform LMs trained on individual client's data and sometimes match the model trained with polled data; 2) With the fixed number of total data, LMs trained using FL with more clients exhibit inferior performance, but pre-trained transformer-based models exhibited greater resilience. 3) LMs trained using FL perform nearly on par with the model trained with pooled data when clients' data are IID distributed while exhibiting visible gaps with non-IID data. Our code is available at: https://github.com/PL97/FedNLP
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