The broad application of artificial intelligence techniques ranging from self-driving vehicles to advanced medical diagnostics afford many benefits. Federated learning is a new breed of artificial intelligence, offering techniques to help bridge the gap between personal data protection and utilization for research and commercial deployment, especially in the use-cases where security and privacy are the key concerns. Here, we present OpenFed, an open-source software framework to simultaneously address the demands for data protection and utilization. In practice, OpenFed enables state-of-the-art model development in low-trust environments despite limited local data availability, which lays the groundwork for sustainable collaborative model development and commercial deployment by alleviating concerns of asset protection. In addition, OpenFed also provides an end-to-end toolkit to facilitate federated learning algorithm development as well as several benchmarks to fair performance comparison under diverse computing paradigms and configurations.

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联邦学习(Federated Learning)是一种新兴的人工智能基础技术,在 2016 年由谷歌最先提出,原本用于解决安卓手机终端用户在本地更新模型的问题,其设计目标是在保障大数据交换时的信息安全、保护终端数据和个人数据隐私、保证合法合规的前提下,在多参与方或多计算结点之间开展高效率的机器学习。其中,联邦学习可使用的机器学习算法不局限于神经网络,还包括随机森林等重要算法。联邦学习有望成为下一代人工智能协同算法和协作网络的基础。

Federated learning (FL) has emerged as a promising master/slave learning paradigm to alleviate systemic privacy risks and communication costs incurred by cloud-centric machine learning methods. However, it is very challenging to resist the single point of failure of the master aggregator and attacks from malicious participants while guaranteeing model convergence speed and accuracy. Recently, blockchain has been brought into FL systems transforming the paradigm to a decentralized manner thus further improve the system security and learning reliability. Unfortunately, the traditional consensus mechanism and architecture of blockchain systems can hardly handle the large-scale FL task due to the huge resource consumption, limited transaction throughput, and high communication complexity. To address these issues, this paper proposes a two-layer blockchaindriven FL framework, called as ChainsFL, which is composed of multiple subchain networks (subchain layer) and a direct acyclic graph (DAG)-based mainchain (mainchain layer). In ChainsFL, the subchain layer limits the scale of each shard for a small range of information exchange, and the mainchain layer allows each shard to share and validate the learning model in parallel and asynchronously to improve the efficiency of cross-shard validation. Furthermore, the FL procedure is customized to deeply integrate with blockchain technology, and the modified DAG consensus mechanism is proposed to mitigate the distortion caused by abnormal models. In order to provide a proof-ofconcept implementation and evaluation, multiple subchains base on Hyperledger Fabric are deployed as the subchain layer, and the self-developed DAG-based mainchain is deployed as the mainchain layer. The experimental results show that ChainsFL provides acceptable and sometimes better training efficiency and stronger robustness compared with the typical existing FL systems.

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Federated Learning enables one to jointly train a machine learning model across distributed clients holding sensitive datasets. In real-world settings, this approach is hindered by expensive communication and privacy concerns. Both of these challenges have already been addressed individually, resulting in competing optimisations. In this article, we tackle them simultaneously for one of the first times. More precisely, we adapt compression-based federated techniques to additive secret sharing, leading to an efficient secure aggregation protocol, with an adaptable security level. We prove its privacy against malicious adversaries and its correctness in the semi-honest setting. Experiments on deep convolutional networks demonstrate that our secure protocol achieves high accuracy with low communication costs. Compared to prior works on secure aggregation, our protocol has a lower communication and computation costs for a similar accuracy.

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Mobile crowdsensing (MCS) counting on the mobility of massive workers helps the requestor accomplish various sensing tasks with more flexibility and lower cost. However, for the conventional MCS, the large consumption of communication resources for raw data transmission and high requirements on data storage and computing capability hinder potential requestors with limited resources from using MCS. To facilitate the widespread application of MCS, we propose a novel MCS learning framework leveraging on blockchain technology and the new concept of edge intelligence based on federated learning (FL), which involves four major entities, including requestors, blockchain, edge servers and mobile devices as workers. Even though there exist several studies on blockchain-based MCS and blockchain-based FL, they cannot solve the essential challenges of MCS with respect to accommodating resource-constrained requestors or deal with the privacy concerns brought by the involvement of requestors and workers in the learning process. To fill the gaps, four main procedures, i.e., task publication, data sensing and submission, learning to return final results, and payment settlement and allocation, are designed to address major challenges brought by both internal and external threats, such as malicious edge servers and dishonest requestors. Specifically, a mechanism design based data submission rule is proposed to guarantee the data privacy of mobile devices being truthfully preserved at edge servers; consortium blockchain based FL is elaborated to secure the distributed learning process; and a cooperation-enforcing control strategy is devised to elicit full payment from the requestor. Extensive simulations are carried out to evaluate the performance of our designed schemes.

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Digital technology is everywhere for the benefit of our daily and professional life. It strongly impacts our life and was crucial to maintain professional and social activities during the COVID19 crisis. Similarly, digital technologies are key within biomedical engineering research topics. Innovations have been generated and introduced over the last 40 years, demonstrating how computing and digital technologies have impacted health care. Although the benefits of digital technology are obvious now, we are at the convergence of several issues which makes us aware about social, societal and environmental challenges associated with this technology. In the social domain, digital technologies raise concern about exclusion (financial, geographical, educational, demographical, racial, gender, language, and disabled related exclusion) and physical and mental health. In the societal dimension, digital technologies raise concern about politics and democracy (sovereignty and governance, cognitive filters and citizen's engagement), privacy and security (data acquisition and usage transparency, level of personal approval, and level of anonymization), and economics. In the environmental dimension, digital technologies raise concern about energy consumption and hardware production. This paper introduces and defines these challenges for digital technology in general, as well as when applied to health care. The objective of this paper is to make the research community more aware about the challenges of digital technology and to promote more transparency for innovative and responsible research.

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Federated Learning aims to learn machine learning models from multiple decentralized edge devices (e.g. mobiles) or servers without sacrificing local data privacy. Recent Natural Language Processing techniques rely on deep learning and large pre-trained language models. However, both big deep neural and language models are trained with huge amounts of data which often lies on the server side. Since text data is widely originated from end users, in this work, we look into recent NLP models and techniques which use federated learning as the learning framework. Our survey discusses major challenges in federated natural language processing, including the algorithm challenges, system challenges as well as the privacy issues. We also provide a critical review of the existing Federated NLP evaluation methods and tools. Finally, we highlight the current research gaps and future directions.

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There has been a surge of interest in continual learning and federated learning, both of which are important in deep neural networks in real-world scenarios. Yet little research has been done regarding the scenario where each client learns on a sequence of tasks from a private local data stream. This problem of federated continual learning poses new challenges to continual learning, such as utilizing knowledge from other clients, while preventing interference from irrelevant knowledge. To resolve these issues, we propose a novel federated continual learning framework, Federated Weighted Inter-client Transfer (FedWeIT), which decomposes the network weights into global federated parameters and sparse task-specific parameters, and each client receives selective knowledge from other clients by taking a weighted combination of their task-specific parameters. FedWeIT minimizes interference between incompatible tasks, and also allows positive knowledge transfer across clients during learning. We validate our \emph{FedWeIT}~against existing federated learning and continual learning methods under varying degrees of task similarity across clients, and our model significantly outperforms them with a large reduction in the communication cost.

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As data are increasingly being stored in different silos and societies becoming more aware of data privacy issues, the traditional centralized training of artificial intelligence (AI) models is facing efficiency and privacy challenges. Recently, federated learning (FL) has emerged as an alternative solution and continue to thrive in this new reality. Existing FL protocol design has been shown to be vulnerable to adversaries within or outside of the system, compromising data privacy and system robustness. Besides training powerful global models, it is of paramount importance to design FL systems that have privacy guarantees and are resistant to different types of adversaries. In this paper, we conduct the first comprehensive survey on this topic. Through a concise introduction to the concept of FL, and a unique taxonomy covering: 1) threat models; 2) poisoning attacks and defenses against robustness; 3) inference attacks and defenses against privacy, we provide an accessible review of this important topic. We highlight the intuitions, key techniques as well as fundamental assumptions adopted by various attacks and defenses. Finally, we discuss promising future research directions towards robust and privacy-preserving federated learning.

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The demand for artificial intelligence has grown significantly over the last decade and this growth has been fueled by advances in machine learning techniques and the ability to leverage hardware acceleration. However, in order to increase the quality of predictions and render machine learning solutions feasible for more complex applications, a substantial amount of training data is required. Although small machine learning models can be trained with modest amounts of data, the input for training larger models such as neural networks grows exponentially with the number of parameters. Since the demand for processing training data has outpaced the increase in computation power of computing machinery, there is a need for distributing the machine learning workload across multiple machines, and turning the centralized into a distributed system. These distributed systems present new challenges, first and foremost the efficient parallelization of the training process and the creation of a coherent model. This article provides an extensive overview of the current state-of-the-art in the field by outlining the challenges and opportunities of distributed machine learning over conventional (centralized) machine learning, discussing the techniques used for distributed machine learning, and providing an overview of the systems that are available.

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In federated learning, multiple client devices jointly learn a machine learning model: each client device maintains a local model for its local training dataset, while a master device maintains a global model via aggregating the local models from the client devices. The machine learning community recently proposed several federated learning methods that were claimed to be robust against Byzantine failures (e.g., system failures, adversarial manipulations) of certain client devices. In this work, we perform the first systematic study on local model poisoning attacks to federated learning. We assume an attacker has compromised some client devices, and the attacker manipulates the local model parameters on the compromised client devices during the learning process such that the global model has a large testing error rate. We formulate our attacks as optimization problems and apply our attacks to four recent Byzantine-robust federated learning methods. Our empirical results on four real-world datasets show that our attacks can substantially increase the error rates of the models learnt by the federated learning methods that were claimed to be robust against Byzantine failures of some client devices. We generalize two defenses for data poisoning attacks to defend against our local model poisoning attacks. Our evaluation results show that one defense can effectively defend against our attacks in some cases, but the defenses are not effective enough in other cases, highlighting the need for new defenses against our local model poisoning attacks to federated learning.

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In recent years, mobile devices have gained increasingly development with stronger computation capability and larger storage. Some of the computation-intensive machine learning and deep learning tasks can now be run on mobile devices. To take advantage of the resources available on mobile devices and preserve users' privacy, the idea of mobile distributed machine learning is proposed. It uses local hardware resources and local data to solve machine learning sub-problems on mobile devices, and only uploads computation results instead of original data to contribute to the optimization of the global model. This architecture can not only relieve computation and storage burden on servers, but also protect the users' sensitive information. Another benefit is the bandwidth reduction, as various kinds of local data can now participate in the training process without being uploaded to the server. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive survey on recent studies of mobile distributed machine learning. We survey a number of widely-used mobile distributed machine learning methods. We also present an in-depth discussion on the challenges and future directions in this area. We believe that this survey can demonstrate a clear overview of mobile distributed machine learning and provide guidelines on applying mobile distributed machine learning to real applications.

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