FedMM: A Communication Efficient Solver for Federated Adversarial Domain Adaptation

Yan Shen, Jian Du, Han Zhao, Zhanghexuan Ji, Chunwei Ma, Mingchen Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Federated adversary domain adaptation is a unique distributed minimax training task due to the heterogeneous data among different local clients, where each client only sees a subset of the data that merely belongs to either the source or target domain. Despite the extensive research in distributed minimax optimization, existing communication efficient solvers that exploit multiple steps of the local update are still not able to generate satisfactory solutions for federated adversarial domain adaptation because of the gradient divergence issue among clients. To tackle this problem, we propose a distributed minimax optimizer, referred to as FedMM, by introducing dual variables to bridge the gradient gap among clients. This algorithm is effective even in the extreme case where each client has different label classes and some clients only have unlabeled data. We prove that FedMM admits benign convergence to a stationary point under domain-shifted unlabeled data. On a variety of benchmark datasets, extensive experiments show that FedMM consistently achieves both better communication savings and significant accuracy improvements over existing federated optimizers based on the stochastic gradient descent ascent (SGDA) algorithm. When training from scratch, for example, it outperforms other SGDA based federated average methods by around 20% in accuracy over the same communication rounds; and it consistently outperforms when training from pre-trained models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1808-1816
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS
StatePublished - 2023
Event22nd International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS 2023 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: May 29 2023Jun 2 2023


  • Adversarial Learning
  • Domain Adaptation
  • Federated Learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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