Visual Prompt Based Personalized Federated Learning

Guanghao Li · Wansen Wu · Yan Sun · Li Shen · Baoyuan Wu · Dacheng Tao


Paper PDF

Thumbnail of paper pages


As a popular paradigm of distributed learning, personalized federated learning (PFL) allows personalized models to improve generalization ability and robustness by utilizing knowledge from all distributed clients. Most existing PFL algorithms tackle personalization in a model-centric way, such as personalized layer partition, model regularization, and model interpolation, which all fail to take into account the data characteristics of distributed clients. In this paper, we propose a novel PFL framework for image classification tasks, dubbed pFedPT, that leverages personalized visual prompts to implicitly represent local data distribution information of clients and provides that information to the aggregation model to help with classification tasks. Specifically, in each round of pFedPT training, each client generates a local personalized prompt related to local data distribution. Then, the local model is trained on the input composed of raw data and a visual prompt to learn the distribution information contained in the prompt. During model testing, the aggregated model obtains client-specific knowledge of the data distributions based on the prompts, which can be seen as an adaptive fine-tuning of the aggregation model to improve model performances on different clients. Furthermore, the visual prompt can be added as an orthogonal method to implement personalization on the client for existing FL methods to boost their performance. Experiments on the CIFAR10 and CIFAR100 datasets show that pFedPT outperforms several state-of-the-art (SOTA) PFL algorithms by a large margin in various settings. The code is available at: