HPDC 2020
Conference paper

TiFL: A Tier-based Federated Learning System

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Federated Learning (FL) enables learning a shared model acrossmany clients without violating the privacy requirements. One of the key attributes in FL is the heterogeneity that exists in both resource and data due to the differences in computation and communication capacity, as well as the quantity and content of data among different clients. We conduct a case study to show that heterogeneity in resource and data has a significant impact on training time and model accuracy in conventional FL systems. To this end, we propose TiFL, a Tier-based Federated Learning System, which divides clients into tiers based on their training performance and selects clients from the same tier in each training round to mitigate the straggler problem caused by heterogeneity in resource anddata quantity. To further tame the heterogeneity caused by non-IID (Independent and Identical Distribution) data and resources, TiFL employs an adaptive tier selection approach to update the tiering on-the-fly based on the observed training performance and accuracy. We prototype TiFL in a FL testbed following Google's FL architecture and evaluate it using the state-of-the-art FL benchmarks. Experimental evaluation shows that TiFL outperforms the conventional FL in various heterogeneous conditions. With the proposed adaptive tier selection policy, we demonstrate that TiFL achieves much faster training performance while achieving the same or better test accuracy across the board.