Split Two-Tower Model for Efficient and Privacy-Preserving Cross-device Federated Recommendation

by   Jiangcheng Qin, et al.

Federated Recommendation can mitigate the systematical privacy risks of traditional recommendation since it allows the model training and online inferring without centralized user data collection. Most existing works assume that all user devices are available and adequate to participate in the Federated Learning. However, in practice, the complex recommendation models designed for accurate prediction and massive item data cause a high computation and communication cost to the resource-constrained user device, resulting in poor performance or training failure. Therefore, how to effectively compress the computation and communication overhead to achieve efficient federated recommendations across ubiquitous mobile devices remains a significant challenge. This paper introduces split learning into the two-tower recommendation models and proposes STTFedRec, a privacy-preserving and efficient cross-device federated recommendation framework. STTFedRec achieves local computation reduction by splitting the training and computation of the item model from user devices to a performance-powered server. The server with the item model provides low-dimensional item embeddings instead of raw item data to the user devices for local training and online inferring, achieving server broadcast compression. The user devices only need to perform similarity calculations with cached user embeddings to achieve efficient online inferring. We also propose an obfuscated item request strategy and multi-party circular secret sharing chain to enhance the privacy protection of model training. The experiments conducted on two public datasets demonstrate that STTFedRec improves the average computation time and communication size of the baseline models by about 40 times and 42 times in the best-case scenario with balanced recommendation accuracy.


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