Every Parameter Matters: Ensuring the Convergence of Federated Learning with Dynamic Heterogeneous Models Reduction

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Hanhan Zhou, Tian Lan, Guru Prasadh Venkataramani, Wenbo Ding


Cross-device Federated Learning (FL) faces significant challenges where low-end clients that could potentially make unique contributions are excluded from training large models due to their resource bottlenecks. Recent research efforts have focused on model-heterogeneous FL, by extracting reduced-size models from the global model and applying them to local clients accordingly. Despite the empirical success, general theoretical guarantees of convergence on this method remain an open question. This paper presents a unifying framework for heterogeneous FL algorithms with online model extraction and provides a general convergence analysis for the first time. In particular, we prove that under certain sufficient conditions and for both IID and non-IID data, these algorithms converge to a stationary point of standard FL for general smooth cost functions. Moreover, we introduce the concept of minimum coverage index, together with model reduction noise, which will determine the convergence of heterogeneous federated learning, and therefore we advocate for a holistic approach that considers both factors to enhance the efficiency of heterogeneous federated learning.