FedMultimodal: A benchmark for multimodal federated learning
Over the past few years, Federated Learning (FL) has become an emerging machine learning technique to tackle data privacy challenges through collaborative training. In the Federated Learning algorithm, the clients submit a locally trained model, and the server aggregates these parameters until convergence. Despite significant efforts that have been made to FL in fields like computer vision, audio, and natural language processing, the FL applications utilizing multimodal data streams remain largely unexplored. It is known that multimodal learning has broad real-world applications in emotion recognition, healthcare, multimedia, and social media, while user privacy persists as a critical concern. Specifically, there are no existing FL benchmarks targeting multimodal applications or related tasks. In order to facilitate the research in multimodal FL, we introduce FedMultimodal, the first FL benchmark for multimodal learning covering five representative multimodal applications from ten commonly used datasets with a total of eight unique modalities. FedMultimodal offers a systematic FL pipeline, enabling end-to-end modeling framework ranging from data partition and feature extraction to FL benchmark algorithms and model evaluation. Unlike existing FL benchmarks, FedMultimodal provides a standardized approach to assess the robustness of FL against three common data corruptions in real-life multimodal applications: missing modalities, missing labels, and erroneous labels. We hope that FedMultimodal can accelerate numerous future research directions, including designing multimodal FL algorithms toward extreme data heterogeneity, robustness multimodal FL, and efficient multimodal FL.