GAL: Gradient Assisted Learning for Decentralized Multi-Organization Collaborations

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Enmao Diao, Jie Ding, Vahid Tarokh


Collaborations among multiple organizations, such as financial institutions, medical centers, and retail markets in decentralized settings are crucial to providing improved service and performance. However, the underlying organizations may have little interest in sharing their local data, models, and objective functions. These requirements have created new challenges for multi-organization collaboration. In this work, we propose Gradient Assisted Learning (GAL), a new method for multiple organizations to assist each other in supervised learning tasks without sharing local data, models, and objective functions. In this framework, all participants collaboratively optimize the aggregate of local loss functions, and each participant autonomously builds its own model by iteratively fitting the gradients of the overarching objective function. We also provide asymptotic convergence analysis and practical case studies of GAL. Experimental studies demonstrate that GAL can achieve performance close to centralized learning when all data, models, and objective functions are fully disclosed.