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Contributed talk: On Solving Local Minimax Optimization: A Follow-the-Ridge Approach
Yuanhao Wang

Sat Dec 14 02:40 PM -- 03:05 PM (PST) @

Many tasks in modern machine learning can be formulated as finding equilibria in \emph{sequential} games. In particular, two-player zero-sum sequential games, also known as minimax optimization, have received growing interest. It is tempting to apply gradient descent to solve minimax optimization given its popularity in supervised learning. However, we note that naive application of gradient descent fails to find local minimax -- the analogy of local minima in minimax optimization, since the fixed points of gradient dynamics might not be local minimax. In this paper, we propose \emph{Follow-the-Ridge} (FR), an algorithm that locally converges to and only converges to local minimax. We show theoretically that the algorithm addresses the limit cycling problem around fixed points, and is compatible with preconditioning and \emph{positive} momentum. Empirically, FR solves quadratic minimax problems and improves GAN training on simple tasks.

Author Information

Yuanhao Wang (Tsinghua University)

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