Mobilizing Personalized Federated Learning in Infrastructure-Less and Heterogeneous Environments via Random Walk Stochastic ADMM

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

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Ziba Parsons, Fei Dou, Houyi Du, Zheng Song, Jin Lu


This paper explores the challenges of implementing Federated Learning (FL) in practical scenarios featuring isolated nodes with data heterogeneity, which can only be connected to the server through wireless links in an infrastructure-less environment. To overcome these challenges, we propose a novel mobilizing personalized FL approach, which aims to facilitate mobility and resilience. Specifically, we develop a novel optimization algorithm called Random Walk Stochastic Alternating Direction Method of Multipliers (RWSADMM). RWSADMM capitalizes on the server's random movement toward clients and formulates local proximity among their adjacent clients based on hard inequality constraints rather than requiring consensus updates or introducing bias via regularization methods. To mitigate the computational burden on the clients, an efficient stochastic solver of the approximated optimization problem is designed in RWSADMM, which provably converges to the stationary point almost surely in expectation. Our theoretical and empirical results demonstrate the provable fast convergence and substantial accuracy improvements achieved by RWSADMM compared to baseline methods, along with its benefits of reduced communication costs and enhanced scalability.