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Riemannian SVRG: Fast Stochastic Optimization on Riemannian Manifolds
Hongyi Zhang · Sashank J. Reddi · Suvrit Sra

Mon Dec 05 09:00 AM -- 12:30 PM (PST) @ Area 5+6+7+8 #132

We study optimization of finite sums of \emph{geodesically} smooth functions on Riemannian manifolds. Although variance reduction techniques for optimizing finite-sums have witnessed tremendous attention in the recent years, existing work is limited to vector space problems. We introduce \emph{Riemannian SVRG} (\rsvrg), a new variance reduced Riemannian optimization method. We analyze \rsvrg for both geodesically \emph{convex} and \emph{nonconvex} (smooth) functions. Our analysis reveals that \rsvrg inherits advantages of the usual SVRG method, but with factors depending on curvature of the manifold that influence its convergence. To our knowledge, \rsvrg is the first \emph{provably fast} stochastic Riemannian method. Moreover, our paper presents the first non-asymptotic complexity analysis (novel even for the batch setting) for nonconvex Riemannian optimization. Our results have several implications; for instance, they offer a Riemannian perspective on variance reduced PCA, which promises a short, transparent convergence analysis.

Author Information

Hongyi Zhang (MIT)
Sashank J. Reddi (Carnegie Mellon University)
Suvrit Sra (MIT)

Suvrit Sra is a faculty member within the EECS department at MIT, where he is also a core faculty member of IDSS, LIDS, MIT-ML Group, as well as the statistics and data science center. His research spans topics in optimization, matrix theory, differential geometry, and probability theory, which he connects with machine learning --- a key focus of his research is on the theme "Optimization for Machine Learning” (http://opt-ml.org)

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