Collaborative Learning via Prediction Consensus

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Dongyang Fan, Celestine Mendler-Dünner, Martin Jaggi


We consider a collaborative learning setting where the goal of each agent is to improve their own model by leveraging the expertise of collaborators, in addition to their own training data. To facilitate the exchange of expertise among agents, we propose a distillation-based method leveraging shared unlabeled auxiliary data, which is pseudo-labeled by the collective. Central to our method is a trust weighting scheme that serves to adaptively weigh the influence of each collaborator on the pseudo-labels until a consensus on how to label the auxiliary data is reached. We demonstrate empirically that our collaboration scheme is able to significantly boost individual models’ performance in the target domain from which the auxiliary data is sampled. At the same time, it can provably mitigate the negative impact of bad models on the collective. By design, our method adeptly accommodates heterogeneity in model architectures and substantially reduces communication overhead compared to typical collaborative learning methods.