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Federated Learning Systems: Vision, Hype and Reality for Data Privacy and Protection

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Federated learning systems enable the collaborative training of machine learning models among different organizations under the privacy restrictions. As researchers try to support more machine learning models with different privacy-preserving approaches, current federated learning systems face challenges from various issues such as unpractical system assumptions, scalability and efficiency. Inspired by federated systems in other fields such as databases and cloud computing, we investigate the characteristics of federated learning systems. We find that two important features for other federated systems, i.e., heterogeneity and autonomy, are rarely considered in the existing federated learning systems. Moreover, we provide a thorough categorization for federated learning systems according to four different aspects, including data partition, model, privacy level, and communication architecture. Lastly, we take a systematic comparison among the existing federated learning systems and present future research opportunities and directions.


SecureBoost: A Lossless Federated Learning Framework

arXiv.org Machine Learning

The protection of user privacy is an important concern in machine learning, as evidenced by the rolling out of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) in May 2018. The GDPR is designed to give users more control over their personal data, which motivates us to explore machine learning frameworks with data sharing without violating user privacy. To meet this goal, in this paper, we propose a novel lossless privacy-preserving tree-boosting system known as SecureBoost in the setting of federated learning. This federated-learning system allows a learning process to be jointly conducted over multiple parties with partially common user samples but different feature sets, which corresponds to a vertically partitioned virtual data set. An advantage of SecureBoost is that it provides the same level of accuracy as the non-privacy-preserving approach while at the same time, reveal no information of each private data provider. We theoretically prove that the SecureBoost framework is as accurate as other non-federated gradient tree-boosting algorithms that bring the data into one place. In addition, along with a proof of security, we discuss what would be required to make the protocols completely secure.


FedHealth: A Federated Transfer Learning Framework for Wearable Healthcare

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

With the rapid development of computing technology, wearable devices such as smart phones and wristbands make it easy to get access to people's health information including activities, sleep, sports, etc. Smart healthcare achieves great success by training machine learning models on a large quantity of user data. However, there are two critical challenges. Firstly, user data often exists in the form of isolated islands, making it difficult to perform aggregation without compromising privacy security. Secondly, the models trained on the cloud fail on personalization. In this paper, we propose FedHealth, the first federated transfer learning framework for wearable healthcare to tackle these challenges. FedHealth performs data aggregation through federated learning, and then builds personalized models by transfer learning. It is able to achieve accurate and personalized healthcare without compromising privacy and security. Experiments demonstrate that FedHealth produces higher accuracy (5.3% improvement) for wearable activity recognition when compared to traditional methods. FedHealth is general and extensible and has the potential to be used in many healthcare applications.


SecureGBM: Secure Multi-Party Gradient Boosting

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Federated machine learning systems have been widely used to facilitate the joint data analytics across the distributed datasets owned by the different parties that do not trust each others. In this paper, we proposed a novel Gradient Boosting Machines (GBM) framework SecureGBM built-up with a multi-party computation model based on semi-homomorphic encryption, where every involved party can jointly obtain a shared Gradient Boosting machines model while protecting their own data from the potential privacy leakage and inferential identification. More specific, our work focused on a specific "dual--party" secure learning scenario based on two parties -- both party own an unique view (i.e., attributes or features) to the sample group of samples while only one party owns the labels. In such scenario, feature and label data are not allowed to share with others. To achieve the above goal, we firstly extent -- LightGBM -- a well known implementation of tree-based GBM through covering its key operations for training and inference with SEAL homomorphic encryption schemes. However, the performance of such re-implementation is significantly bottle-necked by the explosive inflation of the communication payloads, based on ciphertexts subject to the increasing length of plaintexts. In this way, we then proposed to use stochastic approximation techniques to reduced the communication payloads while accelerating the overall training procedure in a statistical manner. Our experiments using the real-world data showed that SecureGBM can well secure the communication and computation of LightGBM training and inference procedures for the both parties while only losing less than 3% AUC, using the same number of iterations for gradient boosting, on a wide range of benchmark datasets.


Customized Video QoE Estimation with Algorithm-Agnostic Transfer Learning

arXiv.org Machine Learning

The development of QoE models by means of Machine Learning (ML) is challenging, amongst others due to small-size datasets, lack of diversity in user profiles in the source domain, and too much diversity in the target domains of QoE models. Furthermore, datasets can be hard to share between research entities, as the machine learning models and the collected user data from the user studies may be IPR- or GDPR-sensitive. This makes a decentralized learning-based framework appealing for sharing and aggregating learned knowledge in-between the local models that map the obtained metrics to the user QoE, such as Mean Opinion Scores (MOS). In this paper, we present a transfer learning-based ML model training approach, which allows decentralized local models to share generic indicators on MOS to learn a generic base model, and then customize the generic base model further using additional features that are unique to those specific localized (and potentially sensitive) QoE nodes. We show that the proposed approach is agnostic to specific ML algorithms, stacked upon each other, as it does not necessitate the collaborating localized nodes to run the same ML algorithm. Our reproducible results reveal the advantages of stacking various generic and specific models with corresponding weight factors. Moreover, we identify the optimal combination of algorithms and weight factors for the corresponding localized QoE nodes.