A Unified Analysis of Federated Learning with Arbitrary Client Participation

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

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Shiqiang Wang, Mingyue Ji


Federated learning (FL) faces challenges of intermittent client availability and computation/communication efficiency. As a result, only a small subset of clients can participate in FL at a given time. It is important to understand how partial client participation affects convergence, but most existing works have either considered idealized participation patterns or obtained results with non-zero optimality error for generic patterns. In this paper, we provide a unified convergence analysis for FL with arbitrary client participation. We first introduce a generalized version of federated averaging (FedAvg) that amplifies parameter updates at an interval of multiple FL rounds. Then, we present a novel analysis that captures the effect of client participation in a single term. By analyzing this term, we obtain convergence upper bounds for a wide range of participation patterns, including both non-stochastic and stochastic cases, which match either the lower bound of stochastic gradient descent (SGD) or the state-of-the-art results in specific settings. We also discuss various insights, recommendations, and experimental results.