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Optimal Epoch Stochastic Gradient Descent Ascent Methods for Min-Max Optimization
Yan Yan · Yi Xu · Qihang Lin · Wei Liu · Tianbao Yang

Tue Dec 08 09:00 PM -- 11:00 PM (PST) @ Poster Session 2 #658

Epoch gradient descent method (a.k.a. Epoch-GD) proposed by (Hazan and Kale, 2011) was deemeda breakthrough for stochastic strongly convex minimization, which achieves theoptimal convergence rate of O(1/T) with T iterative updates for the objective gap. However, its extension to solving stochastic min-max problems with strong convexity and strong concavity still remains open, and it is still unclear whethera fast rate ofO(1/T)for theduality gapis achievable for stochastic min-max optimization under strong convexity and strong concavity. Although some re-cent studies have proposed stochastic algorithms with fast convergence rates formin-max problems, they require additional assumptions about the problem, e.g.,smoothness, bi-linear structure, etc. In this paper, we bridge this gap by providinga sharp analysis of epoch-wise stochastic gradient descent ascent method (referredto as Epoch-GDA) for solving strongly convex strongly concave (SCSC) min-maxproblems, without imposing any additional assumption about smoothness or the function’s structure. To the best of our knowledge, our result is the first one that shows Epoch-GDA can achieve the optimal rate ofO(1/T)for the duality gapof general SCSC min-max problems. We emphasize that such generalization of Epoch-GD for strongly convex minimization problems to Epoch-GDA for SCSC min-max problems is non-trivial and requires novel technical analysis. Moreover, we notice that the key lemma can also be used for proving the convergence of Epoch-GDA for weakly-convex strongly-concave min-max problems, leading to a nearly optimal complexity without resorting to smoothness or other structural conditions.

Author Information

Yan Yan (Washington State University)
Yi Xu (Alibaba Group U.S. Inc.)
Qihang Lin (University of Iowa)
Wei Liu (Tencent AI Lab)
Tianbao Yang (The University of Iowa)

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