Analyzing the Robustness of Decentralized Horizontal and Vertical Federated Learning Architectures in a Non-IID Scenario

Federated learning (FL) allows participants to collaboratively train machine and deep learning models while protecting data privacy. However, the FL paradigm still presents drawbacks affecting its trustworthiness since malicious participants could launch adversarial attacks against the training process. Related work has studied the robustness of horizontal FL scenarios under different attacks. However, there is a lack of work evaluating the robustness of decentralized vertical FL and comparing it with horizontal FL architectures affected by adversarial attacks. Thus, this work proposes three decentralized FL architectures, one for horizontal and two for vertical scenarios, namely HoriChain, VertiChain, and VertiComb. These architectures present different neural networks and training protocols suitable for horizontal and vertical scenarios. Then, a decentralized, privacy-preserving, and federated use case with non-IID data to classify handwritten digits is deployed to evaluate the performance of the three architectures. Finally, a set of experiments computes and compares the robustness of the proposed architectures when they are affected by different data poisoning based on image watermarks and gradient poisoning adversarial attacks. The experiments show that even though particular configurations of both attacks can destroy the classification performance of the architectures, HoriChain is the most robust one.


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