Auto-FedRL: Federated Hyperparameter Optimization for Multi-Institutional Medical Image Segmentation

Pengfei Guo, Dong Yang, Ali Hatamizadeh, An Xu, Ziyue Xu, Wenqi Li, Can Zhao, Daguang Xu, Stephanie Harmon, Evrim Turkbey, Baris Turkbey, Bradford Wood, Francesca Patella, Elvira Stellato, Gianpaolo Carrafiello, Vishal M. Patel, Holger R. Roth ;


"Federated learning (FL) is a distributed machine learning technique that enables collaborative model training while avoiding explicit data sharing. The inherent privacy-preserving property of FL algorithms makes them especially attractive to the medical field. However, in case of heterogeneous client data distributions, standard FL methods are unstable and require intensive hyperparameter tuning to achieve optimal performance. Conventional hyperparameter optimization algorithms are impractical in real-world FL applications as they involve numerous training trials, which are often not affordable with limited compute budgets. In this work, we propose an efficient reinforcement learning (RL)-based federated hyperparameter optimization algorithm, termed Auto-FedRL, in which an online RL agent can dynamically adjust hyperparameters of each client based on the current training progress. Extensive experiments are conducted to investigate different search strategies and RL agents. The effectiveness of the proposed method is validated on a heterogeneous data split of the CIFAR-10 dataset as well as two real-world medical image segmentation datasets for COVID-19 lesion segmentation in chest CT and pancreas segmentation in abdominal CT.."

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