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In-Person Poster presentation / poster accept

FedFA: Federated Feature Augmentation

Tianfei Zhou · Ender Konukoglu

MH1-2-3-4 #84

Keywords: [ Deep Learning and representational learning ] [ feature augmentation ] [ federated learning ]


Federated learning is a distributed paradigm that allows multiple parties to collaboratively train deep models without exchanging the raw data. However, the data distribution among clients is naturally non-i.i.d., which leads to severe degradation of the learnt model. The primary goal of this paper is to develop a robust federated learning algorithm to address feature shift in clients’ samples, which can be caused by various factors, e.g., acquisition differences in medical imaging. To reach this goal, we propose FedFA to tackle federated learning from a dis- tinct perspective of federated feature augmentation. FedFA is based on a major insight that each client’s data distribution can be characterized by statistics (i.e., mean and standard deviation) of latent features; and it is likely to manipulate these local statistics globally, i.e., based on information in the entire federation, to let clients have a better sense of the underlying distribution and therefore alleviate local data bias. Based on this insight, we propose to augment each local feature statistic probabilistically based on a normal distribution, whose mean is the original statistic and variance quantifies the augmentation scope. Key to our approach is the determination of a meaningful Gaussian variance, which is accomplished by taking into account not only biased data of each individual client, but also underlying feature statistics characterized by all participating clients. We offer both theoretical and empirical justifications to verify the effectiveness of FedFA. Our code is available at

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