A Survey on Distributed Machine Learning

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

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373 Citations (Scopus)
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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 number3377454
Number of pages33
JournalACM Computing Surveys (CSUR)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Distributed machine learning
  • distributed systems


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