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Federated Learning

Data pipelines and central servers are used in traditional machine learning to generate predictions. All data gathered by local devices and sensors is transmitted to a central server for processing before being delivered back to the devices. Models cannot learn in real-time because of this round-trip.

On the other hand, federal learning involves the downloading of the existing model and constructing a new one on the device itself (similar to edge computing) using local inputs. It is a new setting for distributed learning and machine learning models.

  • FL allows machine learning algorithms to gather experience by using data sets from a variety of various locations in a more generic manner.

As a result of this strategy, various companies may work together on the creation of models without having to exchange sensitive data directly. After a few training cycles, the shared models are exposed to a far larger range of data than anyone company has access to on its own. By eliminating the requirement to aggregate data in one area, FL decentralizes machine learning. An alternative approach would be to train the model repeatedly at different sites.

Advantages of FL

Federated machine learning has a number of advantages, including the following:

  • As an alternative to uploading and storing training data on an external server, FL allows devices such as mobile phones to learn a shared prediction model cooperatively while retaining the training data locally.
  • Security – consider using gadgets such as cellphones and tablets, IoT, or even organizations like hospitals that are mandated to function under stringent privacy limitations. There’s a lot to be said for keeping personal data local.
  • Efficiency – smaller hardware infrastructure is required with FL. A mobile device with a minimum amount of hardware can run FL models.
  • It enables real-time prediction due to the fact that it is done on the device itself. When raw data is sent back to a central server and the findings are subsequently sent back to the device, FL eliminates this time lag.
  • The prediction process continues to function even when there is no internet connection
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FL has a number of fundamental issues. To begin, communication is a major bottleneck in FL networks, since data generated on each device is kept local to the device itself. Developing communication-efficient approaches that limit the number of communication rounds and providing incremental model updates instead of sending the complete data set is important for training a model utilizing data supplied by devices in the network.

A federated network’s FL techniques must also be able to handle dropped devices in the network, as well as low device participation.

By exchanging model updates such as gradient data instead of raw information, FL helps protect data generated on a device. As a result, sharing model updates with a third party or a central server can still divulge sensitive information.


Data type and context matter when it comes to federated models. Mobile phone users’ learning activities, driverless vehicles, and predicting health hazards from wearable gadgets are examples of possible applications.


Machine learning can benefit the healthcare and health insurance industries since it allows for the protection of sensitive data in its original source. The use of federated learning models for diagnosing uncommon diseases can improve data diversity by combining data from multiple sources (e.g. hospitals, electronic health record databases).

Apps for mobiles

When combined with smartphones, the federated learning model can be used to develop user behavior models that don’t expose personal information, such as for next-word prediction, facial identification, and voice recognition. When it comes to Google Assistant’s “Hey Google” feature, Google leverages federated learning to develop machine learning models on the device.

Unmanned vehicles (AVs)

Real-time data and predictions from federated machine learning can make self-driving cars safer and more reliable. These are necessary for autonomous vehicles to react to new situations:

  1. Traffic and road information in real-time
  2. Decisions made in real-time

It can meet all of these goals and allow the models to develop over time with input from multiple vehicles, while also allowing the models to improve over time. For example, FL has been shown to minimize training time for self-driving vehicle wheel steering angle prediction.

Importance of FL

While corporations value accurate machine learning models, centralized machine learning systems have limitations, such as the inability to learn continuously on edge devices and the inability to aggregate private data on central servers. FL eliminates them.

As part of the typical machine learning process, all of the available training data is used to create one central machine learning model in a centralized setting. Predictions from a central server operate flawlessly.

A pleasant user experience may be hindered by the delayed connection between a mobile computing device and its central server in mobile computing, where consumers expect quick responses. If the model is installed in the end-user device, this problem can be solved, but the model must be trained on a comprehensive data set, which the end-user device does not have access to.

Users’ data is aggregated in a central location for machine learning training, which may violate privacy laws in certain countries and make the data more vulnerable to security breaches.

  • FL solves these problems by enabling continuous learning on end-user devices while assuring that end-user data does not leave end-user devices.

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