Embracing Semi-supervised Domain Adaptation for Federated Knowledge Transfer

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; College of Computing


Given rapidly changing machine learning environments and expensive data labeling, semi-supervised domain adaptation (SSDA) is imperative when the labeled data from the source domain is statistically different from the partially labeled target data. Most prior SSDA research is centrally performed, requiring access to both source and target data. However, data in many fields nowadays is generated by distributed end devices. Due to privacy concerns, the data might be locally stored and cannot be shared, resulting in the ineffectiveness of existing SSDA. This paper proposes an innovative approach to achieve SSDA over multiple distributed and confidential datasets, named by Federated Semi-Supervised Domain Adaptation (FSSDA). FSSDA integrates SSDA with federated learning based on strategically designed knowledge distillation techniques, whose efficiency is improved by performing source and target training in parallel. Moreover, FSSDA controls the amount of knowledge transferred across domains by properly selecting a key parameter, i.e., the imitation parameter. Further, the proposed FSSDA can be effectively generalized to multi-source domain adaptation scenarios. Extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of FSSDA design.

Publication Title

Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, LNICST