Self-supervised representation learning is heavily dependent on data augmentations to specify the invariances encoded in representations. Previous work has shown that applying diverse data augmentations is crucial to downstream performance, but augmentation techniques remain under-explored. In this work, we propose a new family of local transformations based on Gaussian random fields to generate image augmentations for self-supervised representation learning. These transformations generalize the well-established affine and color transformations (translation, rotation, color jitter, etc.) and greatly increase the space of augmentations by allowing transformation parameter values to vary from pixel to pixel. The parameters are treated as continuous functions of spatial coordinates, and modeled as independent Gaussian random fields. Empirical results show the effectiveness of the new transformations for self-supervised representation learning. Specifically, we achieve a 1.7% top-1 accuracy improvement over baseline on ImageNet downstream classification, and a 3.6% improvement on out-of-distribution iNaturalist downstream classification. However, due to the flexibility of the new transformations, learned representations are sensitive to hyperparameters. While mild transformations improve representations, we observe that strong transformations can degrade the structure of an image, indicating that balancing the diversity and strength of augmentations is important for improving generalization of learned representations.
Large machine learning models trained on diverse data have recently seen unprecedented success. Federated learning enables training on private data that may otherwise be inaccessible, such as domain-specific datasets decentralized across many clients. However, federated learning can be difficult to scale to large models when clients have limited resources. This challenge often results in a trade-off between model size and access to diverse data. To mitigate this issue and facilitate training of large models on edge devices, we introduce a simple yet effective strategy, Federated Layer-wise Learning, to simultaneously reduce per-client memory, computation, and communication costs. Clients train just a single layer each round, reducing resource costs considerably with minimal performance degradation. We also introduce Federated Depth Dropout, a complementary technique that randomly drops frozen layers during training, to further reduce resource usage. Coupling these two techniques enables us to effectively train significantly larger models on edge devices. Specifically, we reduce training memory usage by 5x or more in federated self-supervised representation learning and demonstrate that performance in downstream tasks is comparable to conventional federated self-supervised learning.
Conventional federated learning algorithms train a single global model by leveraging all participating clients' data. However, due to heterogeneity in client generative distributions and predictive models, these approaches may not appropriately approximate the predictive process, converge to an optimal state, or generalize to new clients. We study personalization and generalization in stateless cross-device federated learning setups assuming heterogeneity in client data distributions and predictive models. We first propose a hierarchical generative model and formalize it using Bayesian Inference. We then approximate this process using Variational Inference to train our model efficiently. We call this algorithm Federated Variational Inference (FedVI). We use PAC-Bayes analysis to provide generalization bounds for FedVI. We evaluate our model on FEMNIST and CIFAR-100 image classification and show that FedVI beats the state-of-the-art on both tasks.
Dual encoding models that encode a pair of inputs are widely used for representation learning. Many approaches train dual encoding models by maximizing agreement between pairs of encodings on centralized training data. However, in many scenarios, datasets are inherently decentralized across many clients (user devices or organizations) due to privacy concerns, motivating federated learning. In this work, we focus on federated training of dual encoding models on decentralized data composed of many small, non-IID (independent and identically distributed) client datasets. We show that existing approaches that work well in centralized settings perform poorly when naively adapted to this setting using federated averaging. We observe that, we can simulate large-batch loss computation on individual clients for loss functions that are based on encoding statistics. Based on this insight, we propose a novel federated training approach, Distributed Cross Correlation Optimization (DCCO), which trains dual encoding models using encoding statistics aggregated across clients, without sharing individual data samples. Our experimental results on two datasets demonstrate that the proposed DCCO approach outperforms federated variants of existing approaches by a large margin.