Decentralized Learning With Multi-Headed Distillation

Andrey Zhmoginov · Mark Sandler · Nolan Miller · Gus Kristiansen · Max Vladymyrov

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 376


Decentralized learning with private data is a central problem in machine learning. We propose a novel distillation-based decentralized learning technique that allows multiple agents with private non-iid data to learn from each other, without having to share their data, weights or weight updates. Our approach is communication efficient, utilizes an unlabeled public dataset and uses multiple auxiliary heads for each client, greatly improving training efficiency in the case of heterogeneous data. This approach allows individual models to preserve and enhance performance on their private tasks while also dramatically improving their performance on the global aggregated data distribution. We study the effects of data and model architecture heterogeneity and the impact of the underlying communication graph topology on learning efficiency and show that our agents can significantly improve their performance compared to learning in isolation.

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