BASGD: Buffered Asynchronous SGD for Byzantine Learning

Yi-Rui Yang · Wu-Jun Li

Keywords: [ Optimization -> Distributed and Parallel Optimization ]


Distributed learning has become a hot research topic due to its wide application in cluster-based large-scale learning, federated learning, edge computing and so on. Most traditional distributed learning methods typically assume no failure or attack. However, many unexpected cases, such as communication failure and even malicious attack, may happen in real applications. Hence, Byzantine learning (BL), which refers to distributed learning with failure or attack, has recently attracted much attention. Most existing BL methods are synchronous, which are impractical in some applications due to heterogeneous or offline workers. In these cases, asynchronous BL (ABL) is usually preferred. In this paper, we propose a novel method, called buffered asynchronous stochastic gradient descent (BASGD), for ABL. To the best of our knowledge, BASGD is the first ABL method that can resist malicious attack without storing any instances on server. Compared with those methods which need to store instances on server, BASGD has a wider scope of application. BASGD is proved to be convergent, and be able to resist failure or attack. Empirical results show that BASGD significantly outperforms vanilla asynchronous stochastic gradient descent (ASGD) and other ABL baselines when there exists failure or attack on workers.

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