TurboSVM-FL: Boosting Federated Learning through SVM Aggregation for Lazy Clients

Mengdi Wang, Anna Bodonhelyi, Efe Bozkir, Enkelejda Kasneci

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Federated learning is a distributed collaborative machine learning paradigm that has gained strong momentum in recent years. In federated learning, a central server periodically coordinates models with clients and aggregates the models trained locally by clients without necessitating access to local data. Despite its potential, the implementation of federated learning continues to encounter several challenges, predominantly the slow convergence that is largely due to data heterogeneity. The slow convergence becomes particularly problematic in cross-device federated learning scenarios where clients may be strongly limited by computing power and storage space, and hence counteracting methods that induce additional computation or memory cost on the client side such as auxiliary objective terms and larger training iterations can be impractical. In this paper, we propose a novel federated aggregation strategy, TurboSVM-FL, that poses no additional computation burden on the client side and can significantly accelerate convergence for federated classification task, especially when clients are “lazy” and train their models solely for few epochs for next global aggregation. TurboSVM-FL extensively utilizes support vector machine to conduct selective aggregation and max-margin spread-out regularization on class embeddings. We evaluate TurboSVM-FL on multiple datasets including FEMNIST, CelebA, and Shakespeare using user-independent validation with non-iid data distribution. Our results show that TurboSVM-FL can significantly outperform existing popular algorithms on convergence rate and reduce communication rounds while delivering better test metrics including accuracy, F1 score, and MCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15546-15554
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Issue number14
StatePublished - 25 Mar 2024
Event38th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2024 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 20 Feb 202427 Feb 2024


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