Convergence Time Optimization for Federated Learning over Wireless Networks

Mingzhe Chen, H. Vincent Poor, Walid Saad, Shuguang Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


In this paper, the convergence time of federated learning (FL), when deployed over a realistic wireless network, is studied. In particular, a wireless network is considered in which wireless users transmit their local FL models (trained using their locally collected data) to a base station (BS). The BS, acting as a central controller, generates a global FL model using the received local FL models and broadcasts it back to all users. Due to the limited number of resource blocks (RBs) in a wireless network, only a subset of users can be selected to transmit their local FL model parameters to the BS at each learning step. Moreover, since each user has unique training data samples, the BS prefers to include all local user FL models to generate a converged global FL model. Hence, the FL training loss and convergence time will be significantly affected by the user selection scheme. Therefore, it is necessary to design an appropriate user selection scheme that can select the users who can contribute toward improving the FL convergence speed more frequently. This joint learning, wireless resource allocation, and user selection problem is formulated as an optimization problem whose goal is to minimize the FL convergence time and the FL training loss. To solve this problem, a probabilistic user selection scheme is proposed such that the BS is connected to the users whose local FL models have significant effects on the global FL model with high probabilities. Given the user selection policy, the uplink RB allocation can be determined. To further reduce the FL convergence time, artificial neural networks (ANNs) are used to estimate the local FL models of the users that are not allocated any RBs for local FL model transmission at each given learning step, which enables the BS to improve the global model, the FL convergence speed, and the training loss. Simulation results show that the proposed approach can reduce the FL convergence time by up to 56% and improve the accuracy of identifying handwritten digits by up to 3%, compared to a standard FL algorithm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9292468
Pages (from-to)2457-2471
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Federated learning; wireless resource allocation
  • artificial neural networks
  • probabilistic user selection


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