On Consensus-Optimality Trade-offs in Collaborative Deep Learning

Zhanhong Jiang, Aditya Balu, Chinmay Hegde, Soumik Sarkar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In distributed machine learning, where agents collaboratively learn from diverse private data sets, there is a fundamental tension between consensus and optimality. In this paper, we build on recent algorithmic progresses in distributed deep learning to explore various consensus-optimality trade-offs over a fixed communication topology. First, we propose the incremental consensus-based distributed stochastic gradient descent (i-CDSGD) algorithm, which involves multiple consensus steps (where each agent communicates information with its neighbors) within each SGD iteration. Second, we propose the generalized consensus-based distributed SGD (g-CDSGD) algorithm that enables us to navigate the full spectrum from complete consensus (all agents agree) to complete disagreement (each agent converges to individual model parameters). We analytically establish convergence of the proposed algorithms for strongly convex and nonconvex objective functions; we also analyze the momentum variants of the algorithms for the strongly convex case. We support our algorithms via numerical experiments, and demonstrate significant improvements over existing methods for collaborative deep learning.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number573731
    JournalFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence
    StatePublished - Sep 14 2021


    • collaborative deep learning
    • consensus-optimality
    • convergence
    • distributed optimization
    • sgd

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Artificial Intelligence


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