Federated Learning with Communication Delay in Edge Networks

Frank Po Chen Lin, Christopher G. Brinton, Nicolo Michelusi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


Federated learning has received significant attention as a potential solution for distributing machine learning (ML) model training through edge networks. This work addresses an important consideration of federated learning at the network edge: communication delays between the edge nodes and the aggregator. A technique called FedDelAvg (federated delayed averaging) is developed, which generalizes the standard federated averaging algorithm to incorporate a weighting between the current local model and the delayed global model received at each device during the synchronization step. Through theoretical analysis, an upper bound is derived on the global model loss achieved by FedDelAvg, which reveals a strong dependency of learning performance on the values of the weighting and learning rate. Experimental results on a popular ML task indicate significant improvements in terms of convergence speed when optimizing the weighting scheme to account for delays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2020 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2020 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728182988
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event2020 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2020 - Virtual, Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: Dec 7 2020Dec 11 2020

Publication series

Name2020 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2020 - Proceedings


Conference2020 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2020
Country/TerritoryTaiwan, Province of China
CityVirtual, Taipei

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Media Technology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Instrumentation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Software
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


  • Federated learning
  • convergence analysis
  • distributed machine learning
  • edge intelligence
  • edge-cloud computing


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