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.
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.
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.
Today's AI still faces two major challenges. One is that in most industries, data exists in the form of isolated islands. The other is the strengthening of data privacy and security. We propose a possible solution to these challenges: secure federated learning. Beyond the federated learning framework first proposed by Google in 2016, we introduce a comprehensive secure federated learning framework, which includes horizontal federated learning, vertical federated learning and federated transfer learning. We provide definitions, architectures and applications for the federated learning framework, and provide a comprehensive survey of existing works on this subject. In addition, we propose building data networks among organizations based on federated mechanisms as an effective solution to allow knowledge to be shared without compromising user privacy.
Artificial neural network has achieved unprecedented success in the medical domain. This success depends on the availability of massive and representative datasets. However, data collection is often prevented by privacy concerns and people want to take control over their sensitive information during both training and using processes. To address this problem, we propose a privacy-preserving method for the distributed system, Stochastic Channel-Based Federated Learning (SCBF), which enables the participants to train a high-performance model cooperatively without sharing their inputs. Specifically, we design, implement and evaluate a channel-based update algorithm for the central server in a distributed system, which selects the channels with regard to the most active features in a training loop and uploads them as learned information from local datasets. A pruning process is applied to the algorithm based on the validation set, which serves as a model accelerator. In the experiment, our model presents better performances and higher saturating speed than the Federated Averaging method which reveals all the parameters of local models to the server when updating. We also demonstrate that the saturating rate of performance could be promoted by introducing a pruning process. And further improvement could be achieved by tuning the pruning rate. Our experiment shows that 57% of the time is saved by the pruning process with only a reduction of 0.0047 in AUCROC performance and a reduction of 0.0068 in AUCPR.