Picture of Maximilian Egger

M.Sc. Maximilian Egger

Technical University of Munich

Associate Professorship of Coding and Cryptography (Prof. Wachter-Zeh)

Postal address

Postal:
Theresienstr. 90
80333 München

Biography

Maximilian Egger received the B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences Augsburg in 2020, and the M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from the Technical University of Munich in 2022, both with high distinction (final grades: 1.0). He pursued a dual bachelor study accompanied by engineering positions in different hardware and software development departments at the Hilti AG. Inspiring collaborations at university, industry and the German Academic Scholarship Foundation strengthened his motivation to drive scientific progress. As a doctoral researcher at the Institute for Communications Engineering under the supervision of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Antonia Wachter-Zeh, he is conducting research in the rapidly growing field of large-scale decentralized computing and federated learning. Sensible data, potentially corrupted computations and stochastic environments naturally lead to concerns about privacy, security and efficiency. As part of his research, he investigates these problems from a coding and information-theoretic perspective.

 

Teaching

Coding Theory for Storage and Networks [Summer Term 2022]

 

Theses

Available Theses

MAB-Based Efficient Distributed ML on the Cloud

Keywords:
Distributed Machine Learning (ML), Multi-Armed Bandits (MABs), Cloud Simulations (AWS, GCP, ...)

Description

We consider the problem of running a distributed machine learning algorithm on the cloud. This imposes several challenges. In particular, cloud instances may have different performances/speeds. To fully leverage the performance of the instances, we want to characterize their speed and potentially use the fastest ones. To explore the speed of the instances while exploiting them (assigning computational tasks), we use the theory of multi-armed bandits (MABs).

The goal of the research intership is to start by implementing existing theoretical algorithms [1] and possibly adapting them based on the experimental observations.

[1] M. Egger, R. Bitar, A. Wachter-Zeh and D. Gündüz, Efficient Distributed Machine Learning via Combinatorial Multi-Armed Bandits, submitted to IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (JSAC), 2022.

Prerequisites

  • Information Theory
  • Machine Learning Basics
  • Python (Intermediate Level)

Supervisor:

Private and Secure Federated Learning

Description

In federated learning, a machine learning model shall be trained on private user data with the help of a central server, the so-called federator. This setting differs from other machine learning settings in that the user data shall not be shared with the federator for privacy reasons and/or to decrease the communication load of the system.

Even though only intermediate results are shared, extra care is necessary to guarantee data privacy. An additional challenge arises if the system includes malicious users that breach protocol and send corrupt computation results.

The goal of this work is to design, implement and analyze coding- and information-theoretic solutions for privacy and security in federated learning.

Prerequisites

  • Coding Theory (e.g., Channel Coding)
  • Information Theory
  • Machine Learning Basics

Supervisor:

Theses in Progress

Implementation of a Generic Federated Learning Framework

Description

Since the introduction of federated learning in [1], we can observe a rapidly growing body of research. In particular, we face challenges with respect to privacy, security and efficiency. The first half of this research internship aims at implementing a generic framework for simulating decentralized optimization procedures in a federated leraning setting. During the second half and with the help of the framework, the student should analyze the performance of selected state-of-the-art schemes.

Prerequisites

  • Coding Theory (e.g., Channel Coding)
  • Information Theory
  • Machine Learning Basics
  • Python (Intermediate Level)

Supervisor:

Secure Federated Learning

Description

In the initially proposed federated learning setting [1], the federator observes partial gradient computations of all clients contributing to a decentralized training procedure. However, clients might send malicious (corrupt) computations to harm the training process on purpose. Considering this model, security against malicious clients can be ensured by running statistics on the partial results [2, 3]. For example, clients’ results that differ significantly from the vast majority of responses can be excluded from the training process. In recent works, secure aggregation of partial work was proposed [4]. The goal is to let the master only observe the sum of all local models, and by this to enhance the privacy level of the clients’ data. These works, however, complicate the use of statistics to account for corrupt partial computations as the master only observes the aggregated result. The goal of this research internship is to review related literature on secure federated learning including their limitations, and to explore possible approaches to ensure security against potentially corrupt results while preserving privacy of the clients’ data.

[1] B. McMahan, E. Moore, D. Ramage, S. Hampson, and B. A. y. Arcas, “Communication-Efficient Learning of Deep Networks from Decentralized Data,” vol. 54, pp. 1273–1282, 20--22 Apr 2017.

[2] P. Blanchard, E. M. El Mhamdi, R. Guerraoui, and J. Stainer, “Machine Learning with Adversaries: Byzantine Tolerant Gradient Descent,” in Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems, 2017, vol. 30.

[3] Z. Yang and W. U. Bajwa, “ByRDiE: Byzantine-Resilient Distributed Coordinate Descent for Decentralized Learning,” IEEE Transactions on Signal and Information Processing over Networks, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 611–627, Dec. 2019.

[4] K. Bonawitz et al., “Practical Secure Aggregation for Privacy-Preserving Machine Learning,” Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. 2017. doi: 10.1145/3133956.3133982.

Prerequisites

  • Coding Theory (e.g., Channel Coding)
  • Information Theory

Supervisor:

Secure Record Linkage via Multi-Party Computation

Description

Processing a massive amount of collected data by means of machine learning algorithms often becomes infeasible when carried out on single machines. To cope with the computational requirements, distributed cloud computing was introduced. Thereby, a large computational task is split into multiple parts and distributed among worker machines to parallelize the computations and thereby speed up the learning process. However, since confidential data must be shared with third parties and the outcome is threatened by potential corrupt computations, privacy and security has to be ensured. This is particularly critical in medical environments, in which we deal with individual patients' information. 

To motivate the study of these challenges, a competition called iDash privacy and security workshop is hosted every year [1]. This year, the task is to develop a framework that securely links similar patient related entries being stored on different datasets without comprising privacy - for example to avoid double considerations in further processing steps. During this research internship, the student should use multi-party computation tools to develop a framework that complies with the aforementioned requirements.

[1] http://www.humangenomeprivacy.org/2022/competition-tasks.html

Prerequisites

  • Coding Theory (e.g., Channel Coding)
  • Linear Algebra
  • Information Theory (optional)

Supervisor: