Optimized Power Control for Over-the-Air Federated Edge Learning

2021 
Over-the-air federated edge learning (Air-FEEL) is a communication-efficient solution for privacy-preserving distributed learning over wireless networks. Air-FEEL allows "one-shot" over-the-air aggregation of gradient/model-updates by exploiting the waveform superposition property of wireless channels, and thus promises an extremely low aggregation latency that is independent of the network size. However, such communication efficiency may come at a cost of learning performance degradation due to the aggregation error caused by the non-uniform channel fading over devices and noise perturbation. Prior work adopted channel inversion power control (or its variants) to reduce the aggregation error by aligning the channel gains, which, however, could be highly suboptimal in deep fading scenarios due to the noise amplification. To overcome this issue, we investigate the power control optimization for enhancing the learning performance of Air-FEEL. Towards this end, we first analyze the convergence behavior of the Air-FEEL by deriving the optimality gap of the loss-function under any given power control policy. Then we optimize the power control to minimize the optimality gap for accelerating convergence, subject to a set of average and maximum power constraints at edge devices. The problem is generally non-convex and challenging to solve due to the coupling of power control variables over different devices and iterations. To tackle this challenge, we develop an efficient algorithm by jointly exploiting the successive convex approximation (SCA) and trust region methods. Numerical results show that the optimized power control policy achieves significantly faster convergence than the benchmark policies such as channel inversion and uniform power transmission.
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