Project Florida: Federated Learning Made Easy

by   Daniel Madrigal Diaz, et al.

We present Project Florida, a system architecture and software development kit (SDK) enabling deployment of large-scale Federated Learning (FL) solutions across a heterogeneous device ecosystem. Federated learning is an approach to machine learning based on a strong data sovereignty principle, i.e., that privacy and security of data is best enabled by storing it at its origin, whether on end-user devices or in segregated cloud storage silos. Federated learning enables model training across devices and silos while the training data remains within its security boundary, by distributing a model snapshot to a client running inside the boundary, running client code to update the model, and then aggregating updated snapshots across many clients in a central orchestrator. Deploying a FL solution requires implementation of complex privacy and security mechanisms as well as scalable orchestration infrastructure. Scale and performance is a paramount concern, as the model training process benefits from full participation of many client devices, which may have a wide variety of performance characteristics. Project Florida aims to simplify the task of deploying cross-device FL solutions by providing cloud-hosted infrastructure and accompanying task management interfaces, as well as a multi-platform SDK supporting most major programming languages including C++, Java, and Python, enabling FL training across a wide range of operating system (OS) and hardware specifications. The architecture decouples service management from the FL workflow, enabling a cloud service provider to deliver FL-as-a-service (FLaaS) to ML engineers and application developers. We present an overview of Florida, including a description of the architecture, sample code, and illustrative experiments demonstrating system capabilities.


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