Federated Forest


Most real-world data are scattered across different companies or government organizations, and cannot be easily integrated under data privacy and related regulations such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and China' Cyber Security Law. Such data islands situation and data privacy & security are two major challenges for applications of artificial intelligence. In this paper, we tackle these challenges and propose a privacy-preserving machine learning model, called Federated Forest, which is a lossless learning model of the traditional random forest method, i.e., achieving the same level of accuracy as the non-privacy-preserving approach. Based on it, we developed a secure cross-regional machine learning system that allows a learning process to be jointly trained over different regions' clients with the same user samples but different attribute sets, processing the data stored in each of them without exchanging their raw data. A novel prediction algorithm was also proposed which could largely reduce the communication overhead. Experiments on both real-world and UCI data sets demonstrate the performance of the Federated Forest is as accurate as of the non-federated version. The efficiency and robustness of our proposed system had been verified. Overall, our model is practical, scalable and extensible for real-life tasks.

IEEE Transactions on Big Data, 2020