A Survey on Distributed Machine Learning

Joost Verbraeken, Matthijs Wolting, Jonathan Katzy, Jeroen Kloppenburg, Tim Verbelen, Jan S. Rellermeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
76 Downloads (Pure)


The demand for artificial intelligence has grown significantly over the past decade, and this growth has been fueled by advances in machine learning techniques and the ability to leverage hardware acceleration. However, to increase the quality of predictions and render machine learning solutions feasible for more complex applications, a substantial amount of training data is required. Although small machine learning models can be trained with modest amounts of data, the input for training larger models such as neural networks grows exponentially with the number of parameters. Since the demand for processing training data has outpaced the increase in computation power of computing machinery, there is a need for distributing the machine learning workload across multiple machines, and turning the centralized into a distributed system. These distributed systems present new challenges: first and foremost, the efficient parallelization of the training process and the creation of a coherent model. This article provides an extensive overview of the current state-of-the-art in the field by outlining the challenges and opportunities of distributed machine learning over conventional (centralized) machine learning, discussing the techniques used for distributed machine learning, and providing an overview of the systems that are available.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
Number of pages33
JournalACM Computing Surveys (CSUR)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Distributed machine learning
  • distributed systems

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