InFEDge: A Blockchain-Based Incentive Mechanism in Hierarchical Federated Learning for End-Edge-Cloud Communications


Co-authored by: Victor Leung

Date of Publication


Advances in communications and networking technologies are driving the computing paradigm toward the end-edge-cloud collaborative architecture to leverage ubiquitous data and resources. Opposite to centralized intelligence, Hierarchical Federated Learning (HFL) relieves overwhelmed communication overhead and enjoys the advantages of high bandwidth as well as abundant computing resources while retaining privacy-preserving benefits of Federated Learning (FL). It is difficult to balance system overhead and model performance in the HFL framework, while it could be solved by introducing an incentive mechanism. Although the incentive mechanism can alleviate the above anxiety by compensating relevant participants, some limitations (multi-dimensional properties, incomplete information and unreliable participants) will significantly degrade the performance and efficiency of the designed mechanism. To address the challenges caused by the above limitations, we propose InFEDge, a blockchain-based incentive mechanism in the HFL. The InFEDge considers 1) multi-dimensional individual properties to model system participants and proves the uniqueness of Nash equilibrium with the closed-form solution. Meanwhile, 2) we transform the problem under incomplete information into a contract game where we obtain the optimal solution. Moreover, 3) we also leverage the blockchain to provide economic incentives, prevent unreliable participants’ disturbance and further ensure data privacy by implementing the mechanism in the smart contract to offer a credible, faster, and transparent resource trading system. Experimental evaluations on a proof-of-concept testbed along with real traces demonstrate the superiority of our mechanism. Further, our method solves a real-world user allocation problem for future communications and networking.

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First Nations land acknowledegement

We acknowledge that the UBC Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm.

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