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Zeno: Distributed Stochastic Gradient Descent with Suspicion-based Fault-tolerance

Cong Xie · Sanmi Koyejo · Indranil Gupta

Pacific Ballroom #158

Keywords: [ Robust Statistics and Machine Learning ] [ Parallel and Distributed Learning ]


We present Zeno, a technique to make distributed machine learning, particularly Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD), tolerant to an arbitrary number of faulty workers. Zeno generalizes previous results that assumed a majority of non-faulty nodes; we need assume only one non-faulty worker. Our key idea is to suspect workers that are potentially defective. Since this is likely to lead to false positives, we use a ranking-based preference mechanism. We prove the convergence of SGD for non-convex problems under these scenarios. Experimental results show that Zeno outperforms existing approaches.

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