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Towards Understanding Ensemble Distillation in Federated Learning

Sejun Park · Kihun Hong · Ganguk Hwang

Exhibit Hall 1 #423
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Federated Learning (FL) is a collaborative machine learning paradigm for data privacy preservation. Recently, a knowledge distillation (KD) based information sharing approach in FL, which conducts ensemble distillation on an unlabeled public dataset, has been proposed. However, despite its experimental success and usefulness, the theoretical analysis of the KD based approach has not been satisfactorily conducted. In this work, we build a theoretical foundation of the ensemble distillation framework in federated learning from the perspective of kernel ridge regression (KRR). In this end, we propose a KD based FL algorithm for KRR models which is related with some existing KD based FL algorithms, and analyze our algorithm theoretically. We show that our algorithm makes local prediction models as much powerful as the centralized KRR model (which is a KRR model trained by all of local datasets) in terms of the convergence rate of the generalization error if the unlabeled public dataset is sufficiently large. We also provide experimental results to verify our theoretical results on ensemble distillation in federated learning.

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