2CP: Decentralized Protocols to Transparently Evaluate Contributivity in Blockchain Federated Learning Environments


Federated Learning harnesses data from multiple sources to build a single model. While the initial model might belong solely to the actor bringing it to the network for training, determining the ownership of the trained model resulting from Federated Learning remains an open question. In this paper we explore how Blockchains (in particular Ethereum) can be used to determine the evolving ownership of a model trained with Federated Learning. Firstly, we use the step-by-step evaluation metric to assess the relative contributivities of participants in a Federated Learning process. Next, we introduce 2CP, a framework comprising two novel protocols for Blockchained Federated Learning, which both reward contributors with shares in the final model based on their relative contributivity. The Crowdsource Protocol allows an actor to bring a model forward for training, and use their own data to evaluate the contributions made to it. Potential trainers are guaranteed a fair share of the resulting model, even in a trustless setting. The Consortium Protocol gives trainers the same guarantee even when no party owns the initial model and no evaluator is available. We conduct experiments with the MNIST dataset that reveal sound contributivity scores resulting from both Protocols by rewarding larger datasets with greater shares in the model. Our experiments also showed the necessity to pair 2CP with a robust model aggregation mechanism to discard low quality inputs coming from model poisoning attacks.

IEEE 2nd International Workshop on Advances in Artificial Intelligence for Blockchain (AIChain 2020)