Flow: Per-instance Personalized Federated Learning

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

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Kunjal Panchal, Sunav Choudhary, Nisarg Parikh, Lijun Zhang, Hui Guan


Federated learning (FL) suffers from data heterogeneity, where the diverse data distributions across clients make it challenging to train a single global model effectively. Existing personalization approaches aim to address the data heterogeneity issue by creating a personalized model for each client from the global model that fits their local data distribution. However, these personalized models may achieve lower accuracy than the global model in some clients, resulting in limited performance improvement compared to that without personalization. To overcome this limitation, we propose a per-instance personalization FL algorithm Flow. Flow creates dynamic personalized models that are adaptive not only to each client’s data distributions but also to each client’s data instances. The personalized model allows each instance to dynamically determine whether it prefers the local parameters or its global counterpart to make correct predictions, thereby improving clients’accuracy. We provide theoretical analysis on the convergence of Flow and empirically demonstrate the superiority of Flow in improving clients’ accuracy compared to state-of-the-art personalization approaches on both vision and language-based tasks.