Federated Learning with Only Positive Labels

Part of Proceedings of the International Conference on Machine Learning 1 pre-proceedings (ICML 2020)

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Authors

Felix Xinnan Yu, Ankit Singh Rawat, Aditya Menon, Sanjiv Kumar

Abstract

<p>We consider learning a multi-class classification model in the federated setting, where each user has access to the positive data associated with only a single class. As a result, during each federated learning round, the users need to locally update the classifier without having access to the features and the model parameters for the negative labels. Since the loss function at a user is independent of the negative labels, naively employing conventional decentralized learning such as the distributed SGD or Federated Averaging may lead to trivial or extremely poor classifiers. In particular, for the embedding based classifiers, all the class embeddings might collapse to a single point.</p> <p>To address this problem, we propose a generic framework for training with only positive labels, namely Federated Averaging with Spreadout (FedAwS), where the server imposes a geometric regularizer after each round to encourage classes spread out in the embedding space. We show, both theoretically and empirically, that FedAwS can almost match the performance of conventional learning where users have access to negative labels. We further extend the proposed method to the settings with large output spaces, such as the extreme multi-class classification. </p>