On Sample Optimality in Personalized Collaborative and Federated Learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Mathieu Even, Laurent Massoulié, Kevin Scaman


In personalized federated learning, each member of a potentially large set of agents aims to train a model minimizing its loss function averaged over its local data distribution. We study this problem under the lens of stochastic optimization, focusing on a scenario with a large number of agents, that each possess very few data samples from their local data distribution. Specifically, we prove novel matching lower and upper bounds on the number of samples required from all agents to approximately minimize the generalization error of a fixed agent. We provide strategies matching these lower bounds, based on a gradient filtering approach: given prior knowledge on some notion of distance between local data distributions, agents filter and aggregate stochastic gradients received from other agents, in order to achieve an optimal bias-variance trade-off. Finally, we quantify the impact of using rough estimations of the distances between local distributions of agents, based on a very small number of local samples.