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On Bridging Generic and Personalized Federated Learning

by   Hong-You Chen, et al.

Federated learning is promising for its ability to collaboratively train models with multiple clients without accessing their data, but vulnerable when clients' data distributions diverge from each other. This divergence further leads to a dilemma: "Should we prioritize the learned model's generic performance (for future use at the server) or its personalized performance (for each client)?" These two, seemingly competing goals have divided the community to focus on one or the other, yet in this paper we show that it is possible to approach both at the same time. Concretely, we propose a novel federated learning framework that explicitly decouples a model's dual duties with two prediction tasks. On the one hand, we introduce a family of losses that are robust to non-identical class distributions, enabling clients to train a generic predictor with a consistent objective across them. On the other hand, we formulate the personalized predictor as a lightweight adaptive module that is learned to minimize each client's empirical risk on top of the generic predictor. With this two-loss, two-predictor framework which we name Federated Robust Decoupling Fed-RoD, the learned model can simultaneously achieve state-of-the-art generic and personalized performance, essentially bridging the two tasks.


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