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CalFAT: Calibrated Federated Adversarial Training with Label Skewness

Chen Chen · Yuchen Liu · Xingjun Ma · Lingjuan Lyu

Keywords: [ federated learning ] [ adversarial training ]


Recent studies have shown that, like traditional machine learning, federated learning (FL) is also vulnerable to adversarial attacks.To improve the adversarial robustness of FL, federated adversarial training (FAT) methods have been proposed to apply adversarial training locally before global aggregation. Although these methods demonstrate promising results on independent identically distributed (IID) data, they suffer from training instability on non-IID data with label skewness, resulting in degraded natural accuracy. This tends to hinder the application of FAT in real-world applications where the label distribution across the clients is often skewed. In this paper, we study the problem of FAT under label skewness, and reveal one root cause of the training instability and natural accuracy degradation issues: skewed labels lead to non-identical class probabilities and heterogeneous local models. We then propose a Calibrated FAT (CalFAT) approach to tackle the instability issue by calibrating the logits adaptively to balance the classes. We show both theoretically and empirically that the optimization of CalFAT leads to homogeneous local models across the clients and better convergence points.

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