Federated Reconstruction: Partially Local Federated Learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)

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Karan Singhal, Hakim Sidahmed, Zachary Garrett, Shanshan Wu, John Rush, Sushant Prakash


Personalization methods in federated learning aim to balance the benefits of federated and local training for data availability, communication cost, and robustness to client heterogeneity. Approaches that require clients to communicate all model parameters can be undesirable due to privacy and communication constraints. Other approaches require always-available or stateful clients, impractical in large-scale cross-device settings. We introduce Federated Reconstruction, the first model-agnostic framework for partially local federated learning suitable for training and inference at scale. We motivate the framework via a connection to model-agnostic meta learning, empirically demonstrate its performance over existing approaches for collaborative filtering and next word prediction, and release an open-source library for evaluating approaches in this setting. We also describe the successful deployment of this approach at scale for federated collaborative filtering in a mobile keyboard application.