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

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

Authors

Marco Bornstein, Amrit Singh Bedi, Anit Kumar Sahu, Furqan Khan, Furong Huang

Abstract

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 model 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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