The Non-IID Data Quagmire of Decentralized Machine Learning

Kevin Hsieh, Amar Phanishayee, Onur Mutlu, Phillip Gibbons
Proceedings of the 37th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 119:4387-4398, 2020.

Abstract

Many large-scale machine learning (ML) applications need to perform decentralized learning over datasets generated at different devices and locations. Such datasets pose a significant challenge to decentralized learning because their different contexts result in significant data distribution skew across devices/locations. In this paper, we take a step toward better understanding this challenge by presenting a detailed experimental study of decentralized DNN training on a common type of data skew: skewed distribution of data labels across devices/locations. Our study shows that: (i) skewed data labels are a fundamental and pervasive problem for decentralized learning, causing significant accuracy loss across many ML applications, DNN models, training datasets, and decentralized learning algorithms; (ii) the problem is particularly challenging for DNN models with batch normalization; and (iii) the degree of data skew is a key determinant of the difficulty of the problem. Based on these findings, we present SkewScout, a system-level approach that adapts the communication frequency of decentralized learning algorithms to the (skew-induced) accuracy loss between data partitions. We also show that group normalization can recover much of the accuracy loss of batch normalization.

Cite this Paper


BibTeX
@InProceedings{pmlr-v119-hsieh20a, title = {The Non-{IID} Data Quagmire of Decentralized Machine Learning}, author = {Hsieh, Kevin and Phanishayee, Amar and Mutlu, Onur and Gibbons, Phillip}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the 37th International Conference on Machine Learning}, pages = {4387--4398}, year = {2020}, editor = {Hal Daumé III and Aarti Singh}, volume = {119}, series = {Proceedings of Machine Learning Research}, month = {13--18 Jul}, publisher = {PMLR}, pdf = {http://proceedings.mlr.press/v119/hsieh20a/hsieh20a.pdf}, url = { http://proceedings.mlr.press/v119/hsieh20a.html }, abstract = {Many large-scale machine learning (ML) applications need to perform decentralized learning over datasets generated at different devices and locations. Such datasets pose a significant challenge to decentralized learning because their different contexts result in significant data distribution skew across devices/locations. In this paper, we take a step toward better understanding this challenge by presenting a detailed experimental study of decentralized DNN training on a common type of data skew: skewed distribution of data labels across devices/locations. Our study shows that: (i) skewed data labels are a fundamental and pervasive problem for decentralized learning, causing significant accuracy loss across many ML applications, DNN models, training datasets, and decentralized learning algorithms; (ii) the problem is particularly challenging for DNN models with batch normalization; and (iii) the degree of data skew is a key determinant of the difficulty of the problem. Based on these findings, we present SkewScout, a system-level approach that adapts the communication frequency of decentralized learning algorithms to the (skew-induced) accuracy loss between data partitions. We also show that group normalization can recover much of the accuracy loss of batch normalization.} }
Endnote
%0 Conference Paper %T The Non-IID Data Quagmire of Decentralized Machine Learning %A Kevin Hsieh %A Amar Phanishayee %A Onur Mutlu %A Phillip Gibbons %B Proceedings of the 37th International Conference on Machine Learning %C Proceedings of Machine Learning Research %D 2020 %E Hal Daumé III %E Aarti Singh %F pmlr-v119-hsieh20a %I PMLR %P 4387--4398 %U http://proceedings.mlr.press/v119/hsieh20a.html %V 119 %X Many large-scale machine learning (ML) applications need to perform decentralized learning over datasets generated at different devices and locations. Such datasets pose a significant challenge to decentralized learning because their different contexts result in significant data distribution skew across devices/locations. In this paper, we take a step toward better understanding this challenge by presenting a detailed experimental study of decentralized DNN training on a common type of data skew: skewed distribution of data labels across devices/locations. Our study shows that: (i) skewed data labels are a fundamental and pervasive problem for decentralized learning, causing significant accuracy loss across many ML applications, DNN models, training datasets, and decentralized learning algorithms; (ii) the problem is particularly challenging for DNN models with batch normalization; and (iii) the degree of data skew is a key determinant of the difficulty of the problem. Based on these findings, we present SkewScout, a system-level approach that adapts the communication frequency of decentralized learning algorithms to the (skew-induced) accuracy loss between data partitions. We also show that group normalization can recover much of the accuracy loss of batch normalization.
APA
Hsieh, K., Phanishayee, A., Mutlu, O. & Gibbons, P.. (2020). The Non-IID Data Quagmire of Decentralized Machine Learning. Proceedings of the 37th International Conference on Machine Learning, in Proceedings of Machine Learning Research 119:4387-4398 Available from http://proceedings.mlr.press/v119/hsieh20a.html .

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