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Fed-TGAN: Federated Learning Framework for Synthesizing Tabular Data

by   Zilong Zhao, et al.
Delft University of Technology

Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are typically trained to synthesize data, from images and more recently tabular data, under the assumption of directly accessible training data. Recently, federated learning (FL) is an emerging paradigm that features decentralized learning on client's local data with a privacy-preserving capability. And, while learning GANs to synthesize images on FL systems has just been demonstrated, it is unknown if GANs for tabular data can be learned from decentralized data sources. Moreover, it remains unclear which distributed architecture suits them best. Different from image GANs, state-of-the-art tabular GANs require prior knowledge on the data distribution of each (discrete and continuous) column to agree on a common encoding – risking privacy guarantees. In this paper, we propose Fed-TGAN, the first Federated learning framework for Tabular GANs. To effectively learn a complex tabular GAN on non-identical participants, Fed-TGAN designs two novel features: (i) a privacy-preserving multi-source feature encoding for model initialization; and (ii) table similarity aware weighting strategies to aggregate local models for countering data skew. We extensively evaluate the proposed Fed-TGAN against variants of decentralized learning architectures on four widely used datasets. Results show that Fed-TGAN accelerates training time per epoch up to 200 and Non-IID data. Overall, Fed-TGAN not only stabilizes the training loss, but also achieves better similarity between generated and original data.


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