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DaFKD: Domain-Aware Federated Knowledge Distillation

Haozhao Wang · Yichen Li · Wenchao Xu · Ruixuan Li · Yufeng Zhan · Zhigang Zeng

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 374


Federated Distillation (FD) has recently attracted increasing attention for its efficiency in aggregating multiple diverse local models trained from statistically heterogeneous data of distributed clients. Existing FD methods generally treat these models equally by merely computing the average of their output soft predictions for some given input distillation sample, which does not take the diversity across all local models into account, thus leading to degraded performance of the aggregated model, especially when some local models learn little knowledge about the sample. In this paper, we propose a new perspective that treats the local data in each client as a specific domain and design a novel domain knowledge aware federated distillation method, dubbed DaFKD, that can discern the importance of each model to the distillation sample, and thus is able to optimize the ensemble of soft predictions from diverse models. Specifically, we employ a domain discriminator for each client, which is trained to identify the correlation factor between the sample and the corresponding domain. Then, to facilitate the training of the domain discriminator while saving communication costs, we propose sharing its partial parameters with the classification model. Extensive experiments on various datasets and settings show that the proposed method can improve the model accuracy by up to 6.02% compared to state-of-the-art baselines.

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