Re-Weighted Softmax Cross-Entropy to Control Forgetting in Federated Learning

Published: 19 Jun 2023, Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023FL-ICML 2023EveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: federated learning, catastrophic forgetting, client drift
TL;DR: Federated learning with heterogeneous data is a challenging problem, we define the problem as a catastrophic forgetting problem at the client level and propose a reweighted softmax cross entropy to remedy it. .
Abstract: In Federated Learning a global model is learned by aggregating model updates computed at a set of independent client nodes. To reduce communication costs, multiple gradient steps are performed at each node prior to aggregation. A key challenge in this setting is data heterogeneity across clients resulting in differing local objectives which can lead clients to overly minimize their own local objective, diverging from the global solution. We show that individual client models experience a catastrophic forgetting with respect to data from other clients and propose an efficient approach that modifies the cross-entropy objective on a per-client basis by re-weighting the softmax logits prior to computing the loss. This approach shields classes outside a client’s label set from abrupt representation change and we empirically demonstrate it can alleviate client forgetting and provide consistent improvements to standard federated learning algorithms. Our method is particularly beneficial under the most challenging federated learning settings where data heterogeneity is high and client participation in each round is low.
Submission Number: 80