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Federated Adversarial Learning: A Framework with Convergence Analysis

Xiaoxiao Li · Zhao Song · Jiaming Yang

Exhibit Hall 1 #604
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Abstract: Federated learning (FL) is a trending training paradigm to utilize decentralized training data. FL allows clients to update model parameters locally for several epochs, then share them to a global model for aggregation. This training paradigm with multi-local step updating before aggregation exposes unique vulnerabilities to adversarial attacks. Adversarial training is a popular and effective method to improve the robustness of networks against adversaries. In this work, we formulate a general form of federated adversarial learning (FAL) that is adapted from adversarial learning in the centralized setting. On the client side of FL training, FAL has an inner loop to generate adversarial samples for adversarial training and an outer loop to update local model parameters. On the server side, FAL aggregates local model updates and broadcast the aggregated model. We design a global robust training loss and formulate FAL training as a min-max optimization problem. Unlike the convergence analysis in classical centralized training that relies on the gradient direction, it is significantly harder to analyze the convergence in FAL for three reasons: 1) the complexity of min-max optimization, 2) model not updating in the gradient direction due to the multi-local updates on the client-side before aggregation and 3) inter-client heterogeneity. We address these challenges by using appropriate gradient approximation and coupling techniques and present the convergence analysis in the over-parameterized regime. Our main result theoretically shows that the minimum loss under our algorithm can converge to $\epsilon$ small with chosen learning rate and communication rounds. It is noteworthy that our analysis is feasible for non-IID clients.

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