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Learning to Collaborate

by   Sen Cui, et al.
Tsinghua University
University of Connecticut
Alibaba Group
cornell university

In this paper, we focus on effective learning over a collaborative research network involving multiple clients. Each client has its own sample population which may not be shared with other clients due to privacy concerns. The goal is to learn a model for each client, which behaves better than the one learned from its own data, through secure collaborations with other clients in the network. Due to the discrepancies of the sample distributions across different clients, it is not necessarily that collaborating with everyone will lead to the best local models. We propose a learning to collaborate framework, where each client can choose to collaborate with certain members in the network to achieve a "collaboration equilibrium", where smaller collaboration coalitions are formed within the network so that each client can obtain the model with the best utility. We propose the concept of benefit graph which describes how each client can benefit from collaborating with other clients and develop a Pareto optimization approach to obtain it. Finally the collaboration coalitions can be derived from it based on graph operations. Our framework provides a new way of setting up collaborations in a research network. Experiments on both synthetic and real world data sets are provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of our method.


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