Efficient Federated Domain Translation


A central theme in federated learning (FL) is the fact that client data distributions are often not independent and identically distributed (IID), which has strong implications on the training process. While most existing FL algorithms focus on the conventional non-IID setting of class imbalance or missing classes across clients, in practice, the distribution differences could be more complex, e.g., changes in class conditional (domain) distributions. In this paper, we consider this complex case in FL wherein each client has access to only one domain distribution. For tasks such as domain generalization, most existing learning algorithms require access to data from multiple clients (i.e., from multiple domains) during training, which is prohibitive in FL. To address this challenge, we propose a federated domain translation method that generates pseudodata for each client which could be useful for multiple downstream learning tasks. We empirically demonstrate that our translation model is more resource-efficient (in terms of both communication and computation) and easier to train in an FL setting than standard domain translation methods. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the learned translation model enables use of state-of-the-art domain generalization methods in a federated setting, which enhances accuracy and robustness to increases in the synchronization period compared to existing methodology.

International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR)