Open-Source Federated Learning Frameworks for IoT: A Comparative Review and Analysis

Sensors (Basel). 2020 Dec 29;21(1):167. doi: 10.3390/s21010167.


The rapid development of Internet of Things (IoT) systems has led to the problem of managing and analyzing the large volumes of data that they generate. Traditional approaches that involve collection of data from IoT devices into one centralized repository for further analysis are not always applicable due to the large amount of collected data, the use of communication channels with limited bandwidth, security and privacy requirements, etc. Federated learning (FL) is an emerging approach that allows one to analyze data directly on data sources and to federate the results of each analysis to yield a result as traditional centralized data processing. FL is being actively developed, and currently, there are several open-source frameworks that implement it. This article presents a comparative review and analysis of the existing open-source FL frameworks, including their applicability in IoT systems. The authors evaluated the following features of the frameworks: ease of use and deployment, development, analysis capabilities, accuracy, and performance. Three different data sets were used in the experiments-two signal data sets of different volumes and one image data set. To model low-power IoT devices, computing nodes with small resources were defined in the testbed. The research results revealed FL frameworks that could be applied in the IoT systems now, but with certain restrictions on their use.

Keywords: Internet of Things; deep learning; distributed learning; federated learning; machine learning; privacy; smart sensors.