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Workshop: Workshop on Federated Learning in the Age of Foundation Models in Conjunction with NeurIPS 2023 (FL@FM-NeurIPS'23)

RealFM: A Realistic Mechanism to Incentivize Data Contribution and Device Participation

Marco Bornstein · Amrit Bedi · Anit Kumar Sahu · Furqan Khan · Furong Huang

Keywords: [ utility ] [ federated learning ] [ Mechanisms ] [ Realistic ]


Edge device participation in federating learning (FL) has been typically studied under the lens of device-server communication (e.g., device dropout) and assumes an undying desire from edge devices to participate in FL. As a result, current FL frameworks are flawed when implemented in real-world settings, with many encountering the free-rider problem. In a step to push FL towards realistic settings, we propose RealFM: the first truly federated mechanism which (1) realistically models device utility, (2) incentivizes data contribution and device participation, and (3) provably removes the free-rider phenomena. RealFM does not require data sharing and allows for a non-linear relationship between device accuracy and utility, which improves the utility gained by the server and participating devices compared to non-participating devices as well as devices participating in other FL mechanisms. On real-world data, RealFM improves device and server utility, as well as data contribution, by up to 3 magnitudes and 7x respectively compared to baseline mechanisms.

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